Homeowners insurance is vital for anyone who owns their property, whether that’s an actual house or a condominium. That kind of coverage can help to insulate them from some very serious financial risk if anything were to happen to a property. However, when people are tenants in homes owned by someone else, that can create some tricky situations in the event of an accident that leaves the property damaged. As such, having the right kind of renters insurance can help shield them from liability and better protect them financially if something were to go wrong.
For instance, a massive condo building in Surrey, British Columbia, caught fire in late August last year, and the extent of the blaze was so great that about 100 people were forced from their homes, according to a report from AM 640 Toronto. In all, about 77 apartments were evacuated, leaving victims – many of whom are senior citizens – homeless at least for a while. Officials in Surrey quickly began coordinating with local organizations to see what could be done to help them, including starting a donation website, but in the immediate aftermath, those people were sheltered at a senior center in nearby Newtown.
Details of the fire
The blaze itself is not considered suspicious at this time, and fire officials quickly ruled out the possibility that it had started due to a grill fire, the report said. However, plenty of other options are still on the table. In all, this was a four-alarm fire that took fire crews hours to extinguish.
“We were told by witnesses that it started on the exterior of the building so the RCMP has gathered some some names that they’ll forward to our prevention division,” Brian Woznikoski, assistant chief for the Surrey Fire Department, told the news station. “We’ll have an investigator here today to work with interviewing these people and do a further investigation on a cause and that could take days to figure that out.”
Another scary incident
Earlier this summer in Scarborough, Ontario, a totally different situation forced tenants from a house they were renting, according to CTV Toronto. There, a van plowed into the side of the home around 3:45 in the morning and the damage was so extensive that the owner said the tenants had to move out while it was being repaired. The van had been involved in a police chase, and when officers finally caught up to it, it had already gone through one of the home’s wall and caught fire.
Fortunately, none of the residents were hurt in the accident, which caused considerable structural and fire damage to the home, the report said. The driver was taken into custody after suffering minor injuries. He was able to get away from the scene of the accident but was found hiding nearby a short while later.
These incidents highlight why renters need to have the right insurance when they live in homes owned by someone else. There are many things that can go wrong and leave people in the lurch, and having proper coverage can help give them a little more peace of mind even in the worst situations.
“Unfortunately situations like these are more common than people realize” adds Underwriting Director at APRIL Canada, Karen Roller. “Not only do renters undervalue the significance of the loss of all their belongings (replacing all their clothing in addition to furniture and electronics) but they rarely consider the additional costs to find temporary housing. It’s more and more common to see GoFundMe or other crowdfunding campaigns for tens of thousands of dollars to help individuals who overlooked these costs and suffer a loss. Although this is an alternative for these victims it’s not a reliable source of compensation, especially when renter’s insurance can be purchased for less than the cost of a daily coffee at an average of $25-$50 a month.”