On Sunday, February 3rd Pamela Malfavon, an agent at Setnor Byer Insurance & Risk noticed smoke coming from the balcony below her 6th floor apartment at Midtown 24. When she looked down and saw that there was a fire, she immediately called 911 to report it. Afterward, she went downstairs to alert a Midtown 24 employee that there was a fire in the building.
The fire was put out before causing any severe damage, and fire fighters speculated that it may have been caused by a cigarette or a candle. Even more of a mystery to all tenants is who will pay for the damage to the building and is the property that was lost in the fire covered?
The damage to the exterior of the building would be covered by Midtown 24’s Property Insurance. However, this policy does not cover any damage to an individual’s property. That would have to be covered under a tenant’s insurance policy IF they opted-in for coverage.
Most apartment complexes require their tenants to purchase renter’s insurance to protect the landlord against injuries to visitors and guests. Additionally, these policies will reimburse the landlord for damages sustained to the interior structure of the tenant’s unit. Let’s hope Midtown 24 secured appropriate proof of insurance for the tenant on the 4th floor!
This still leaves the question of the property lost in the fire. Many tenants overlook or minimize the value of their personal belongings, such as furniture and electronics, and decline the option to protect their contents. These belongings, if insured, will be protected against:
• Water Damage
• Fire Damage
• Vandalism or Theft
• Falling Objects
• And many more
Damages from windstorm or hail would not be covered unless specified within the policy.
Contents coverage also includes a loss of use clause that will provide you with reimbursement if you are unable to stay in your apartment due to the perils listed in your policy.
The tenants at Midtown24 were lucky that the fire was put out before causing any severe damage. Accidents like this are the perfect reminder of the importance of insurance because, when the time comes, you’ll be happy you have it.