Renters insurance: A life lesson for a fire victim who went without

Renters insurance: A life lesson for a fire victim who went without

Renters insurance certainly helps in situations like an apartment fire. It's relatively inexpensive and can save renters in the long run.

It's been several hours since one of the buildings at Summer Tree Apartments went up in flames. Still, the blazing scene is ingrained in Mark Whitaker's mind as he stood in awe of where he once laid his head. 

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - "Happy to be alive, happy that everybody else in the complex was able to get out without being hurt," Whitaker said. "Just was reflecting, thinking about some of the things that I lost."

Whitaker, along with his 15-year-old daughter got a rude wake-up call just after 4 a.m. Monday. They are one of 13 tenants who are out of their home due to the early morning fire.

"When we got outside, it was just so hot. And the flames, the fire was high, we just sat there praying that it wouldn't get to our apartment," said Whitaker.

But, ultimately it did, and they lost everything.

Whitaker, like so many people, was without renters insurance. Licensed insurance agents say you are at risk without it because your apartment complex doesn't cover anything.

One agent we spoke with says the insurance covers your temporary housing, moving expenses, protects you with liability coverage, and the average renter pays about 15 to 20 dollars per months for $10,000 to $15,000 worth of coverage.

The amount is higher depending on what you own. An inexpensive cost for even the cautious person.

After two years of living in his apartment, Whitaker didn't see it coming.

"I work hard for my money, for the things that we have. For it to be gone, life lesson. You know, it can be replaced - just material stuff," Whitaker said.

The local Red Cross Disaster Relief were able to assist all of the families with temporary housing along with a recovery plan to fit their basic needs.

Click here for more on how you can help the Red Cross help others.

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