December saw two fires in the same small apartment building in Kansas City. Officials believe the cause of the first fire was an electrical problem. They are unsure of what caused the second fire. What is known, however, is that none of the tenants had renter’s insurance.
When there is a fire in a rental unit, the landlord’s insurance should cover the cost of the repairs to the building. But when it comes to the tenants belongings in the unit and paying for a place for the tenant to stay, unless they have their own renter’s insurance policy, they may be facing the same problems as the tenants in this Kansas City fire, no place to live, all their stuff destroyed and no funds to secure temporary or new housing and no funds to replace their stuff.
The Red Cross suggests tenants in a fire to first contact the Red Cross for assistance, then check with the Landlord to see if they might pay for a hotel for a couple of nights or possibly have another unit the tenant could move into. Next, they recommend the tenant contact the renter’s insurance policy to replace items and to turn to places that sell used stuff.
Renters insurance provides financial reimbursement to cover a tenant’s lost or damaged possessions as a result of fire, theft or vandalism. It also may cover a tenant’s liability in the event that a visitor is injured on the premises. Renters insurance can also provide compensation for alternative living arrangements in the event that your rental unit or rented home becomes uninhabitable due to storm damage or an apartment fire.
We urge all landlords to educate their tenants on fire safety and renter’s insurance. This is such an important part of renting a property to a new tenant that MAREI & National REIA partners RentPerfect.com, the tenant screening company prompts your applicants to get a renter policy from RealProtect.com.