Plan Ahead for Disaster: Check Out the Benefits of Renter’s Insurance
From WTOL, Toledo, Ohio
With some Toledo families losing everything they owned in Monday night’s Hidden Cedars condo fire, you may be wondering if you’re ready to handle a similar situation. Luckily, Call 11 for Action problem-solver Dan Bumpus has some excellent advice to help you prepare for the worst.
Dan knows tragedy is the last thing anyone wants to think about. But incidents like Monday’s fire do prompt people to examine their own situations. Just imagine losing everything you own – your TV, clothing, photographs, even your bed, everything gone forever. You never know when you might have to start over. That’s why Dan says it’s important to start planning now, before it’s too late. And the best way to it is with insurance.
Many of those affected by Monday’s fire were renters. While homeowners almost always carry insurance because the terms of their mortgage demand it, renters are much less likely to have the protection. They may think they’re saving money when they skip buying insurance, but it can prove to be costly in the long-run. They’ll have to foot the bill to replace household belongings lost in the flames – a loss that could climb as high at $10,000, $20,000, or even $50,000.
Insurance agents point out you may take all the proper safety precautions, but the person next door may not. In connected housing like an apartment complex, that’s where trouble finds you.
Todd Mierzwiak of the Westgate Insurance Agency says that yesterday’s fire should serve as a big wake up call for renters. He warns that a tenant one or two units away from yours may begin cooking, then leave the food on the burner when running out to the store. The pot boils over, catches fire, and next thing you know you’ll be looking at the ashes of all your belongings. But you can pick up renter’s insurance for about $200 or less per year.
Not only does renter’s insurance give you peace of mind and protection, it can also save you money. Just by signing up, you can get a hefty discount on your car insurance, making your actual out-of-pocket expense even less.
College student Betsy Lashaway isn’t taking any chances. She has renters insurance to protect against the unknown. “It’s a good safety net to have,” she says, “just in case anything happens, heaven forbid.”
Lashaway adds, “People have always said, ‘It’ll never happen to me.’ It happens to someone.”
If you already have insurance, Dan Bumpus says it’s a good idea to revisit your plan at least once a year. That way, you can update your coverage to include any new purchases and additions you’ve made to your home.
Here’s another tip from Dan: Videotape your belongings, and store the footage somewhere other than your home. That’ll serve as your proof when it comes time to submit a claim to your insurance company.
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