Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover Belongings Stolen While On Vacation?
Most home insurance policies provide coverage at 10% of Coverage C: Personal Property for theft anywhere in the world. Unless you are traveling to Mars, if your belongings get stolen abroad, you should be covered. However, just because you are covered, doesn't always mean you should file a claim.
Note: Some home insurance policies exclude coverage for theft off-premises. To exclude theft off-premise coverage means if your belongings get stolen in the hotel room are covered, but you would not have coverage if you get robbed at the beach, as that is away from your current primary lodging residence.
When should you file a claim?
If you have a $1,000 purse stolen with $500 worth of belongings inside, you probably shouldn't file a claim for $1,500 theft. First off, you will have to pay your home insurance deductible. In general, filing a home insurance claim less than 2-3x your deductible is a bad idea. Homeowners claims stay on your record for five years and could cost you more in future insurance premiums. Theft claims tend to penalize homeowners more than more common weather-related claims. Home insurance companies are good at predicting weather losses and know bad weather is out of your control. However, when it comes to theft, the best predictor of future theft claims is past theft claims.
If your belongings get stolen abroad, it is a horrific experience, especially while you are on vacation in a foreign country. You should make the smart choice and avoid filing a claim unless you are facing significant losses.
Caveat: High value personal items like engagement rings often need a separate insurance policy for coverage, so don't file a claim unless you know you are covered for the jewelry! The standard home insurance policy only offers $1,500 in coverage for jewelry/watches by default.
I hope that helps!
At your service,