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Fire Losses Emphasize Importance of Insurance

Posted March 28, 2008

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— Investigators still don't know what sparked a fire at a Raleigh apartment complex that displaced 29 people Wednesday.

But one fact is known – many of the residents may have lost everything -- they didn’t have renter’s insurance.

Insurance agents say about 75 percent of the 82,000 people living in Wake County's apartments, duplexes and mobile homes don't purchase the protection for their possessions.

You never think it's gonna be you who's affected by the incident, but it can happen to anyone," Concord renter Sarah Doman said. She and her roomate Becky Bascom aren't sure how much they lost in Wednesday's fire, but they know it was not insured.

The manager of the Concord told Allstate agent Jay Adkins that none of the damaged units was insured.

Renters vary in their reasons for not carrying insurance. Some think it’s too expensive, some think they don't need it and some say they've never heard of it.

"People don't want to pay for insurance. ... it's an intangible product. ... it's a promise," Adkins said.

He warned that some renters don't recognize the risks. "The thing about an apartment community is you are responsible for every single person beside you. If they leave a candle on or an iron on, that can cause a fire."

Sarah and Becky are convinced. "I think in the future I will get renters insurance," Sarah said Friday.

They are not alone. Dozens of people who live in the Concord Apartments have picked up insurance applications in the past two days.

61 Comments

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  • empowered activist Mar 28, 2008

    this is a shame ! this can only happen in bushs usa! ther should be a program for these folk so we dont have a katrina failure again!

  • jedichick Mar 28, 2008

    I'd rather pay the $10 bucks a month and be safe from a slight possibility of something happening rather than not have it because I have horrible luck- haha! Seriously- I am glad I have it and I am very careful about not leaving the appliances on, candles burning, etc. I also have a puppy at home and would feel awful if something happened to her.

  • seeingthru Mar 28, 2008

    No, not all renters are poor rev R.B. by far many travel, are in school, looking for a permanent home, moved by their emplyer etc. and to buy is not an option. MY HOUSE BURNT DOWN IN 2002 and we moved to an apartment for 12 mths--the renters insurance was very cheap, I do not understand why anyone would not get it.

  • Steve Crisp Mar 28, 2008

    Renters insurance covers losses like personal belongings due to fire, theft, some accidents and other perils. It provides the insured the means of obtaining a hotel room while relocating and covers other expenses. It also generally has riders in the event one of your guests is injured.

    It does NOT cover the structure or fixtures owned by the comples. And that is the same with homeowners insurance. There are two different parts to homeowners -- one for contents and one for the structure itself.

  • san4short Mar 28, 2008

    I pay $8.00 a month in renter's insurance which covers me up to $25,000. I live paycheck to paycheck like most people today, but to me, that's peanuts compared to having to come up with a few thousand dollars all at once to replace my furniture, TV, clothing for my family, etc. which I risk losing if somebody accidently starts a fire where I live.

    If you don't have it, get it, learn from what just happened to these people. What I don't get, if your apartment goes up in flames and it's not your fault or the fire didn't even start in your apartment, why don't they get assistance or insurance money from the apartment complex, don't they have insurance to cover these people? If you own a home, you need homeowner's insurance, isn't that the same concept for an apartment complex? Someone owns them!

  • whatelseisnew Mar 28, 2008

    betterplace

    When I had Renter's insurance, it cost me 56 dollars for the year. That is just under 4.70 cents per month.

  • bnorris6 Mar 28, 2008

    I currently rent and have always carried renter's insurance and a policy is very cheap and will give one a piece of mind. It is hard to believe in this day and age that people do not know there is renter's insurance. Sorry the residents had to learn the difficult way, but maybe they will purchase a policy in the next place they rent. The apartment complex where I lives, required all residents to keep a current renter's insurance policy. Maybe all apartment complexes should require that as well.

  • linnway Mar 28, 2008

    betterplace- You don't have to pay for the carpet. Your renter's insurance covers "contents" and it is insuring YOUR belongings. You do not have to use your insurance for carpet repairs, structural damage, etc.

  • gorgon01 Mar 28, 2008

    "The apartment complex can't demand insurance because they wouldn't be the beneficiary of it. It's not their job to insure the tenant's property. If you are willing to lose all your possessions, then you are more than free to do so."

    Ummm..yes they can. Apartment complexes can choose to rent to whomever they wish under any circumstances. Private company, private property.

  • betterplace Mar 28, 2008

    Rev. RB
    Thats exactly my point. Not all renters could afford the extra few dollars which some think of peanuts

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