By: Christine Souders
The fire destroyed five apartments inside the complex, including resident's personal possessions inside, but some of the folks that lived there did not have renters insurance to replace what they've lost.
Many of the tenants we talked to told us they thought their belongings were covered by the landlord's insurance, but sadly that's not true. Niki Trejo says she doesn't even know where to begin picking up the pieces now that all of her mother's possessions are gone forever, "She had no renters insurance and she's lost everything."
The landlord says he doesn't require his tenants to have renters insurance, but does tell them it's good protection to have, "I think it just slips down to the bottom of the list, and once they get settled, they're glad to be settled, and it just doesn't come back up," said George Sakas.
Insurance Agent Chad Cruse says a situation like Thursday's fire, is when renters insurance is critical. Cruse says it's a common misconception with renters that their belongings are protected under the landlord's insurance in case of a fire, but in fact it's only the building that's covered, "You're TV, you're clothes, anything you have in that apartment there's no coverage for that."
Cruse says renters insurance also is good coverage in case the landlord comes after you for negligence, "If you cause damage to the building, which that's what we see the most common, you're getting protection so the landlord's not saying hey you owe me $50,000 dollars."
He says it's a small price to pay when you're at risk of losing everything you own, "Typical renters insurance, you're looking at maybe 100 to 120 a year, so 8 to 10 dollars a month, cheap," said Cruse.
Many QC landlords say they are now even requiring tenants to have renters insurance, and in some cases you can get a discount for getting your renters policy from the same company that has your car insurance.