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In Wake of Fires, More Renters Are Buying Insurance

Posted April 1, 2008

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— More people are applying for renter’s insurance after several major apartment fires in Raleigh recently, insurance companies say.

Insurance agents said last week that 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.

The most recent fire was Sunday morning at the Trestles apartment complex. It displaced 10 people. Officials said many of those people did not have insurance.

Michelle Burgher and Kurt Duncan, who were both displaced by the fire, said they had been discussing insurance prior to the blaze.

“We were just talking about that, just talking about renter's insurance and we didn't get it. So it's crazy,” Duncan said.

Without insurance, Burgher and Duncan will have to find some way to replace everything destroyed by the fire.

“She (Burgher) actually tried to turn back. I told her to leave everything in there. It's all material stuff,” Duncan said.

Last week, a fire at the Concord Apartments displaced 29 people. None of them had renter’s insurance.

“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 roommate, Becky Bascom, were uninsured.

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," Allstate agent Jay 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."

16 Comments

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  • aquamama Apr 2, 2008

    PLEASE buy renter's insurance. It's too cheap to not have. My rented house burned down 6 years ago. Unfortunately, all we had was $30K worth of insurance, and when we counted up all our stuff, it was well over $100K to replace. Now I have less stuff and more insurance.

  • mgratk Apr 1, 2008

    It is hard to believe people would not have renter's insurance. I had it when I rented, and no one had to tell me I needed it.

  • kewlmom Apr 1, 2008

    I believe beachboater's comments were meant to be sarcastic. For some reason we seem to be quick to give handouts to people who fail to properly plan for disaster...

  • aedwards Apr 1, 2008

    Renter's Insurance is very important. I lived in the governor's point apartment building that burned in February. The fire was caused by a cigarette improperly disposed in a plant in the apartment above mine. Fortunately I did not have the fire damage many others sustained. I had the water/smoke damage. The dry cleaner's bill alone was $2700. I maxed out my insurance limits. It was MY insurance that paid for it. Not the person who left the cigarette out on the balcony. I suggest that everyone gets renter's insurance. You don't realize how much your things are worth until they get ruined or destroyed.

  • carolinagirl75 Apr 1, 2008

    beachboater, your comments don't even make sense...I can't understand your words...but I'm not really sure I want to.

  • beachboater Apr 1, 2008

    Why would anyone want to buy insurance? of any kind??? It wasn't there fault, or maybe it was, someone will give them a handout. don't you people realize, that it just wasn't their fault!! We must pay them for all new "stuff."

  • momof2 Apr 1, 2008

    Ordinary Citizen--that has to be the most ridiculous and uneducated statement I have read today. Perhaps you had the wrong type of policy. As a property manager for an HOA, I have seen people lose their homes over having the wrong type of policy. Typically, if you rent a unit, you should only need to cover your contents and personal belongings--not the structure. The owner or HOA should have that covered. The best advice I can give is to consult with a licensed insurance agent. There are different policies for owners of condos, dependant on whether they are owner occupied or rented out, and policies for renters. Anyone who thinks it is a waste of money is not very bright. I hope you never have to find out.

  • carolinagirl75 Apr 1, 2008

    I was lucky--my apartment required me to have renter's insurance. When we went to buy our house, we rolled our renter's insurance into a home insurance policy--which we needed two years later when we lost our home in a fire. Our insurance has been wonderful--and yes, ordinary citizen, they paid us for everything!

  • cubed32696 Apr 1, 2008

    Folks, do not listen to those who advise you NOT to get renters insurance. I've had it for years, and have used it when the apartment I lived in at time flooded from a water leak. THEN a couple years later, my building caught fire because some moron doing something stupid (a car transmission fell through the floor when the floor weakened from the fire). Fortunately the firewalls did exactly what they were suppose to do. My side of the building had no damage at all, except the one adjacent to the fire, which just had smoke damage.

    If you rent, GET RENTER INSURANCE. It's about $10 a month. It's cheap. You will have a deductable just like auto. Make sure that you get replacement value. It is so worth it.

  • Shadow213 Apr 1, 2008

    Ah...my internet messed up. I might be posting this twice-- but I can't see any reason to NOT get renter's insurance. Mine is super cheap relative to how much I'm covered. It was only 100 bucks for the whole year. How can you say no to that?

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