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Apartment Living: The Need for Fire Insurance
If your apartment catches on fire due to the negligence of a neighbor, it could cost you thousands of dollars. It doesnít seem fair that someone elseís carelessness could cost you your prized possessions - but without fire insurance, it can.
Late for an appointment, Suzan squished her cigarette into a bottle and tossed it under the sink. A few hours later she returned to see the charred remains of what used to be building C in her apartment complex. Apparently, the cigarette wasnít completely out, and her negligence led to a roaring fire.
Luckily, Suzan had fire insurance. This insurance provides coverage for losses from a fire and the resultant damage caused by smoke. Not only does this insurance take care of Suzan, but it also helps her neighbors. The insurance will pay for most, if not all, of the damages caused to the surrounding properties.
Fire insurance--also called renterís insurance is incredibly inexpensive when you consider all that it takes care of. Some policies are under $300.00 annually. You wonít feel like itís worth it until you finally need it... and then the annual fee will seem nominal.
Some tenants feel that they donít need insurance--believing that the landlord is responsible for damages to their personal possessions. This is NOT TRUE. Most leases specify that youíre on your own when it comes to damages to personal possessions from fires and other natural disasters. The only time a landlord can be held responsible for your things is when the damage was caused due to his negligence. i.e. If the fire was caused by an electrical problem, etc.
If you donít have fire insurance and you can prove that the fire was caused by your landlord or another tenantís negligence, you may be able to recover some of your losses in small claims court. If the tenant/landlord is found guilty, he or she will be held legally responsible to repair the building, and replace or reimburse for the damaged possessions within. However, if you already have fire insurance before your property is damaged, they'll go through the court hassles for you.
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