Archive for Tuesday, October 13, 2009

After apartment fire, value of renters insurance more apparent

The loss of personal items in a fire can be devastating, but replacing the possessions can be easier than previously thought.

October 13, 2009


Five days after a devastating fire at the Aberdeen South apartments, Kim Springer is thankful for her renters insurance.

“I don’t know how the people who didn’t have insurance will be able to start over,” said Springer, who got the insurance two years ago when she first signed her lease at Aberdeen South, 4700 W. 27th St.

Renters insurance offers more than just coverage for your stuff.

“There are really a couple reasons that a person would want rental insurance,” said Chris Chapin, president of Stephens Insurance of Lawrence. “One is the obvious: to cover their personal belongings when they’re residing in an apartment or house and they’re concerned about losing them. The second part is the liability coverage.”

The liability portion would address any damage to the premises while you live there or medical expenses if someone is injured at your place.

“I encourage people to look at the renters policy even if they don’t have anything in the house,” Chapin said, “just for the liability part of it.”

Chapin added that renters shouldn’t make the mistake of thinking their landlord will cover them if there is damage or a fire.

“A landlord’s only responsible for covering their building and improvements to their property,” Chapin said.

Renters insurance — which ranges in price from $100 to $150 per year — is comparatively inexpensive, considering what it would cost to replace computer equipment, a cell phone, clothing, appliances and other items in most apartments.

Springer was fortunate in that she purchased insurance before losing everything.

“It is so affordable,” she said. “I know people think they can’t afford it, but they really can.”


workinghard 8 years, 7 months ago

My son bought renter's insurance through Geico and when his laptop was stolen, all he got back was about what he paid for the insurance. Then they had the nerve to ask him 2 weeks later if he wanted to renew.

middlemgmt 8 years, 7 months ago

Everyone living in an apartment needs renters insurance! Can you afford to pay your landlord thousands of dollars if you have a small grease fire in your kitchen? Can you afford to replace all your furniture and clothes if your neighbor smokes on his wood deck and burns the place down? It happens! Get coverage!

werekoala 8 years, 7 months ago

I can't believe renter's insurance isn't required in this town. The problem is the people who need it the most -- the broke down, paycheck-to-paycheck, overwhelmed working poor are the people who are least likely to jump through the extra hoops and spend the hour and $10 a month for renter's insurance.

I'd love to see the city commission debate a requirement to show proof of renter's insurance before renting an apartment in city limits. it would probably be one of the most tangible ways to help members of our community in time of need. After all, no one thinks it will happen to them... until it does.

domino 8 years, 7 months ago

For college students, your parents home owners insurance may cover you and your belongings while you are in school. Our daughter and another girl were sharing an appartment while in college. They had a fire in the kitchen one weekend when our daughter happened to be home for the weekend. Our home owners insurance covered things very well. Parents - check your home owners insurance before sending your child off to college - you may not have to pay for additional insurance for them.

KansasVoter 8 years, 7 months ago

werekoala (Anonymous) says… "I'd love to see the city commission debate a requirement to show proof of renter's insurance before renting an apartment in city limits."

That is one of the dumbest things that I've ever read.

Practicality 8 years, 7 months ago

Maybe the government should provide renters insurance too, considering they are wanting to get into the insurance biz.

werekoala 8 years, 7 months ago

@ Kansas Voter:

You must not have been reading these forums for long, then.

I wonder why you think that? After all, we require auto insurance to drive, b/c we recognize that an uninsured motorist can still get into accidents, and cost us all money n the form of increased premiums and taxes.

In the same way, a family that loses everything in a fire doesn't magically disappear; they cost money from charities, homeless shelters, and other tax-supported organizations.

I'd even be fine with an opt-out provision. The biggest issue is convenience - when you're a single mother with two kids and two jobs struggling to make ends meet, calling the insurance company can easily get put off and forgotten until it is too late.

Guess I've just seen it happen to too many people to think we couldn't do better.

Reuben Turner 8 years, 7 months ago

glad she had a good experience w/ her insurance; just glad she had insurance. it is important

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