Four families are now without a home after the fourplex they live in caught fire just after midnight on Wednesday. Everyone managed to get out but not with very much of their belongings.
News reports indicate that Kennewick firefighters and police responded to the fire near the corner of Canal Dr and N Buchanan St after passersby called 911. According to the police, half the building was engulfed in flames upon arrival.
Officials say the fourplex is most likely a total loss due to the roof damage. Three of the four units were severely damaged leaving the whole building uninhabitable and displacing all 16 residents. The fire also burned and melted two vehicles parked next to the building.
Residents are also said to be receiving temporary housing assistance from the American Red Cross and a couple of GoFundMe campaigns have also been created to help the families.
My Reflection on Renters Insurance
Renters Insurance exists for times such as this. I hope but have no idea if, these families had renters coverage. Let’s examine how a renters policy would help these folks.
Personal Property Coverage
Most of the families lost everything in the blaze. Many things, like photos and keepsakes, may be irreplaceable, but for everything else insurance can step in and help them get back on their feet.
How much will it cost to replace clothes? From socks and underwear on up? TVs, computers, phones, game consoles, and all those other electronic gadgets we depend on also can cost a small fortune to replace.
Then there is the cost of furniture. Ever priced out the cost of all new living room furniture? Bedroom Furniture? Not a pretty picture. That is why you buy insurance.
Additional Living Expenses
Sure the Red Cross can help for a bit. And maybe you have family who can as well but for how long before you are on everyone’s nerves? Renters Insurance will step up and cover your additional living expenses for temporary lodging, meals, transportation, etc. All those things you would not have had to pay for if the fire had not happened.
Not something we want to think about, but what if it is determined that you are responsible for the fire? Do you realize that legally you would be responsible for the cost to repair/rebuild the apartment complex? Then there are the medical bills for those who were taken to the hospital. And you would be responsible for all your neighbors’ damaged property as well as those 2 cars that were destroyed.
Sure, the landlord and the other tenants might have insurance but the insurance companies always try to recover their expenses, if possible, so they can keep premiums affordable for their clients. So the insurance companies have to come to you to reimburse them. Good luck if you don’t have liability insurance or enough liability insurance.
Can you really afford to rent without having Renters Insurance? For less than a dollar a day you could probably purchase $40,000 of contents coverage for your stuff and have $300,000 in liability coverage. What are you waiting for? Call Mid-Columbia Insurance today and ask for a quote. (509)783-5600.