Renters insurance concerns increase after fires

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CARLSBAD, Calif. – In the last week, there has been an estimated 40% increase in renters insurance related phone calls to an Allstate Insurance office in Carlsbad.

Insurance agent, Robin Horton, believes the spike in phone calls are due to concerns from the recent wildfires that devastated San Diego County. Horton and colleague, Nicole Dewitt, were also evacuated from their office when the Poinsettia erupted last week. Horton admits asking herself whether or not she had the right fire coverage for her property.

Carlsbad fire

Looking east from seabright community

Horton said renters insurance has become an easy sell following the 9 fires that scorched the county. Even renters whose apartment buildings do not require renters insurance, are making the purchase as a precaution.

“Renters insurance is covering your contents, additional living expenses [and] covering if someone is trying to sue you,” Horton said.

Some who lost their rented apartment units and homes in the recent fires found they were not 100% covered by their renters insurance.

“A lot of renters are not aware that their contents are not covered. The landlord is covered. His structure is covered. But everything you own inside of that structure is not,” Horton said. “You have to review your policy. You have to have a trusted advisor or agent. It’s imperative that you have that in place because they’ll go over coverage limits… for a lot of people, fire is not covered.”

The insurance agents also stressed the importance of understanding your coverage whether you rent or own property.

“Get a free policy review. Go over coverage limits and what you have and don’t have, and make sure that it’s adequate. Then you’ll have a great peace of mind,” Horton said.

Property damage from the Poinsettia Fire that ripped through Carlsbad alone cost an estimated $12 million. Five homes, one business and 18 apartment units were completely destroyed.

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