How Do I File a Homeowner's Insurance Claim for Theft with No Receipts for the Stolen Goods?

Written by James Hirby | Fact checked by The Law Dictionary staff |  

If you sustain significant property damage or loss during the course of a burglary or home invasion, some or all of the associated costs may be covered by your homeowner's insurance policy. Most such policies contain robust protections for robbery-related expenses. In fact, even the most basic homeowner's insurance policies are liable to pay out for such events. Provided that they aren't arranged at your behest, robberies and burglaries fit the classic definition of "sudden and accidental" to which most insurance policies adhere. Unlike the persistent water leaks that most homeowner's insurance policies won't cover, robberies and burglaries can't reasonably be foreseen.

To ensure that you'll receive a quick payout on any claim that you make following a robbery or burglary, get in the habit of keeping purchase receipts for all of the items of value in your home. Such items might include jewelry, electronic equipment, furniture, appliances and kitchenware.

Be sure to ask your insurance provider whether your policy covers the full cost of replacing all common household items. Many discount homeowner's insurance policies don't cover such valuable items as diamond necklaces, gold rings and rare art pieces. If these items are stolen during the course of a robbery, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise when you try to file a claim for them. In most cases, your homeowner's insurance provider will require you to take out supplemental insurance policies on each item that's worth more than a pre-determined amount. Alternatively, you could pay an additional premium to take out a "rider" on your current insurance policy. The cost of each option may vary according to the policies of your insurer and total value of the items involved.

Since relatively few homeowners keep detailed records of the purchases that they make, most insurance companies will approve claims for stolen goods without requiring claimants to produce purchase receipts for each individual item. However, most insurance companies do require their policyholders to file police reports immediately after learning of the robbery. If your home is robbed, be sure to make an official police report.

During the course of the investigation, you'll need to answer some basic questions about the circumstances surrounding the robbery. You'll also need to account for each stolen item. Once an official report has been filed, ask your local police department for a copy. You'll need to provide this to the claims adjuster who reviews your case.

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