The fire, which was confined to that single apartment, was extinguished by the building’s automatic sprinkler system which also watered down every other unit in the complex. According to fire officials the cause of the fire appears to be accidental but is still under investigation.
All 48 residents of the complex are displaced until further notice because of the water damage caused by the sprinkler system and because the Fire Department turned off the natural gas and the electricity to the building. An emergency shelter has been opened by the Red Cross at Summit View Church of Christ in Yakima for the residents, providing cots, meals, and other necessities until they can move back.
You Don’t Need Insurance… Until You Do
The other guy’s renter’s insurance
Let’s assume the fire was caused by the unit’s resident and you live in the same building. That person will not only have his ‘stuff’ that needs to be replace but he will also be responsible for the damage to the complex as well as the personal property of everyone else damaged by the sprinklers!
Hopefully he has renter’s insurance. It is designed for just this scenario. A renter’s insurance policy includes property coverage to replace his stuff damaged by the fire and sprinklers and also includes liability coverage to cover the damage he accidentally caused to everyone else.
The ‘stuff’ belonging to the other residents of the apartment complex will be covered by his insurance — if he has insurance — and if he has enough liability insurance. His liability insurance will be responsible to pay for damage done to the building and everyone’s stuff.
Your renter’s insurance
If you have your own renter’s insurance policy you will be much better off.
First, you don’t have to depend on the other guy’s insurance. Your insurance will cover your stuff and anything you need to replace is covered at “Replacement Value” not “Garage Sale Value” (officially called Actual Cash Value) up to the limits you chose to purchase.
The other guy’s liability coverage only has to make you ‘whole’ — in other words they don’t have to replace anything, just write you a check for what your stuff is “worth”. So that 5 year-old computer that would cost $1,000 to buy today at the store, is really only worth $200, if that, if you tried to sell it, etc. Are you going to be happy with $200?
Luckily in this incident, the sprinklers probably did not damage any clothing or furniture. If the fire had spread or if there had been smoke damage, you would be replacing not just furniture but probably all your clothing as well. How much money would it take to buy new all your clothes; socks, underwear, shoes, pants, shirts, coats. Hard to imagine.
Want to spend the night on a cot at the Red Cross shelter in a church gymnasium? Or would you rather be able to go to a local hotel and have your own room and a bathroom to yourself? Your renter’s policy includes “Loss of Use” to cover just these situations.
The Coverage You Want… At a Price You Can Afford
Need a quote on renter’s insurance? Talk to one of our professional insurance agents and you can find out in minutes just how inexpensive and affordable renter’s insurance really is.
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