If you live in a North Carolina rented home or apartment, you may be assured that your landlord has a legal obligation to keep you safe. He must address any hazardous maintenance issues in a prompt manner. He will have purchased liability insurance to cover any accidents that occur on his property due to his negligent acts.
All of this should be sufficient to give you some comfort, but you shouldn’t become complacent. There’s still a large hole in your personal financial security, and you may not even be aware of it. You need to get renters’ insurance.
Why You’re Still Vulnerable
There are two huge reasons why your landlord’s liability insurance isn’t enough coverage for your own protection:
- The landlord’s insurance may not be enough. If your apartment catches on fire, the insurance may give you enough money to cover your treatment in the emergency room for smoke inhalation, but it is unlikely that it will cover your destroyed personal property or compensate you for the inconvenience of finding temporary housing. A comprehensive renters’ insurance policy can cover those gaps in the landlord’s insurance. Consider this: a landlord willing to ignore safety issues on his rental property is exactly the kind of guy who will buy the bare minimum insurance coverage.
- The landlord’s insurance will never cover the negligent acts of you and your family. If your apartment catches on fire because your ten-year-old was playing with a lighter, or if you left the water running in the second-floor bathtub and flooded your rental house, or if your father-in-law slips on an ice cube in your kitchen and injures his back, then you could be vulnerable to a lawsuit by one or more people, and your landlord’s insurance will provide you with no protection. However, a renters’ insurance policy would compensate people—including yourself—from these losses due to accidents.
The Virtues of Renters’ Insurance
Renters’ insurance can compensate you when your belongings are stolen, or when they are damaged or destroyed when something bad happens to your residence. It can provide you with a cushion of money if you are sued by a neighbor or by a visitor injured by your negligence at home. Most insurance companies allow you to define the scope of the coverage you want, by specifying “named perils” that you are covered against: everything from vandalism and windstorms to lightning or smoke.
If a catastrophic accident means your North Carolina rented home or apartment is no longer habitable for a few weeks—or forever—where would you go? A renters’ insurance policy can compensate you for the costs of staying in a hotel and buying restaurant meals, all the while replacing your clothing and other goods destroyed in a Wilmington apartment fire.
It’s worth taking the time to talk to an insurance agent to see what packages are available. In many cases, renters’ insurance can be bundled with an existing insurance product from the same company to give you a savings on the premiums.
Recovery from a North Carolina Apartment Fire or Other Disaster
After a household disaster at your rental property, it’s important to identify the cause of the damage and to determine who, if anyone, was responsible. If your landlord was negligent, you can demand compensation from him and his liability insurance company. If a neighbor started the fire or flooded the apartment complex, you may have standing to sue the neighbor for the value of your damaged household goods. And, of course, if it was the fault of someone in your family, you can file a claim against your own renters’ insurance.
Determining fault for a North Carolina apartment fire is no simple task. You will want to consult the Wilmington premises liability lawyers from the Speaks Law Firm by calling 910-341-7570 immediately to arrange for a free consultation. We can help your navigate the complex maze of insurance company rules and help determine who was really at fault for the incident. If necessary, we can pursue a lawsuit to get you the fair compensation you deserve for your losses. Call today and resume moving forward in your life.