EVERYONE IS A VICTIM IN A BUILDING FIRE - INSURANCE
21-05-2015 Industry News Tips and Advice Elite Property Management
This week we had the unfortunate experience of one of the suites in our buildings catching fire. It is always sad to see the devastation to a persons life how quickly they can lose everything that they own in one brief moment. It isn't the property you own that you will miss, it is the photos and memory tokens of your life that you can never get back. Videos, awards and those little trinkets that spark a smile, that is what disappears in the flames.
Fortunately no one was hurt and the flames were extinguished quickly but two suites were destroyed and all the contents within them. There was also smoke damage throughout the entire building and this event will leave no tenant untouched. One of the most disheartening things to see were the tenants who walked around asking where do we go now? The frank situation that arises is that no one is allowed back in their suites for a few days and they must find a new place to rest their head before beginning the cleaning process. The problem is how to pay for a hotel or even to replace the goods that got damaged. Many of the tenants did not purchase renters insurance and are left holding the bill themselves in an event that is no fault of their own. We clearly explain when folks move in that insurance is highly recommended and that it is not the responsibility of the landlord to provide you with a home after an incident occurs but often they never consider that it can happen to them and ignore the advice.
So we learn from this event. Get tenants insurance, it can happen to you! For roughly $15/month or $200 a year you are protected from theft, fire and many other catastrophes that can occur. Don't be left out in the street holding the bill.
One thing that crossed my mind as I saw the heartbreak in peoples faces was what can we do as property owners with renters? Many tenants live on a fixed income and consider insurance an extra expense instead of a necessary expense. Considering tenants sign a one year lease is there value in raising the rent an additional $15 to include a basic policy to protect our clients and be better landlords? This may open up a bit more red tape in the rental process but if helps protect people there may be value in considering it. It is something to think about but unfortunately experience has told me it may open up a larger can of worms in an event where a landlord is being held responsible because they didn't buy enough insurance for a certain tenant. I think though it is at least a conversation worth having. When you see so many local lives affected it is hard not to think, there must be a better way.
In any case, protect yourself, your valuables, and your loved ones, it can happen to anyone. Buy insurance.