We all see this TV news story several times each year: First, the on-the-scene reporter stands in front of the smoking ruins of a big apartment building interviewing the fire chief who still doesn’t know for sure how the blaze started. Of course, there will be an investigation.
Next, we see an interview with a distraught tenant who lost everything and didn’t have any renters insurance. The news crew never has to look very hard to find this person because generally at least 2/3 of the residents didn’t carry any personal property coverage. Many had thought about getting it but had just put it off.
What we don’t see is the hardship these victims have to deal with in the weeks and months that follow from the financial setback caused by the fire. People tend to underestimate the value of their possessions until they go about replacing them. We also don’t see the reaction of the victims when they eventually learn how inexpensive it would have been to have had insurance to cover their loss.
Renters insurance is surprisingly inexpensive. A $20,000 policy typically costs in the range of $100 to $125 per year in our area. People who have car insurance might find an even lower cost because some insurance companies offer a multi policy discount. In such cases, the discount also applies to the car insurance! We’ve actually seen cases where the reduction in the auto insurance premium was enough to pay for the renters policy.
Blog Authored by: Ken Mogren, CPCU