First of all, this article is not a definitive answer to the question.  It can’t be.  Every policy is different from the next just as every company issuing those insurance policies is different from the next company.  There are many similarities between companies and policies, however if you want the bottom line answer to, “Does my renters insurance policy cover (fill in the blank)?” you need to consult your policy paperwork and your insurance agent.  As food for thought, and to prompt you to review your policy and make sure you have proper coverage for your possessions and liability during your rental arrangement, here are some general points addressed by most renters insurance policies:

  1. Theft and vandalism to personal possessions.  Makes sense.
  2. Damage to personal possessions by specific cause.  An example would be damage or destruction by fire or other natural cause.  Be careful here.  Do not rely on your policy covering losses from flooding unless it is spelled out specifically in your policy.  Flood insurance is almost always separate from these policies.
  3. Secured personal possessions temporarily outside your apartment, such as in your car or inside luggage while you’re on vacation.  This is another tricky one.  Check your policy to be sure, and don’t count on it unless you see it in writing.
  4. Temporary living expenses if your unit is undergoing damage repairs.  Let’s say a tree fell through the roof of your Crown Point, Schererville, or Merrillville rental during a windstorm.  Does your policy cover temporary living expenses such as a place to stay while repairs are completed?
  5. Liability.  Just like with homeowners insurance, who pays if someone slips and breaks a hip while in your apartment?

Maybe you have renter’s insurance, and you’re comfortable that your policy addresses those items important to you.  The last question to ask yourself is, “Do I have enough coverage?”  When you add up the value of all your electronics alone – television, microwave, stereo and/or iPod, laptop computer, cell phone, even your CD and DVD collection – will your policy cover the entire replacement value or will it fall short?  Food for thought.