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In Wake of Fires, More Renters Are Buying Insurance

Insurance companies say more people are applying for renter’s insurance after several major apartment fires in Raleigh recently.

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RALEIGH, N.C. — 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."