WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Residents of a Warwick condo complex lost their homes Wednesday when their building was destroyed by fire, and if they didn’t have insurance coverage – they lost a lot more than that.
More than three dozen units burned up after flames broke out at at Westgate Condominiums on Quaker Lane. While some people owned the condos, Eyewitness News learned dozens of residents were renters, many of whom don’t have renter’s insurance.
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Nearly 100 residents were inside at the time and fortunately made it out safely, but those without insurance are left with nothing but the clothes on their back.
“My clothes, everything I own, I know they can be replaced, but they’re things that meant something to me,” said resident Rhonda Wright.
Its fairly common for renters to skip insurance, assuming they’ll be covered by their landlord’s homeowner’s policy. The Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island (IIARI) says apartment and condo complex have coverage for their buildings, which takes care of the structure – but not the contents of your home.
“When it comes to interior contents – your clothes, furnishings, all those things in your home – unless you have a renter’s policy, you have no coverage,” said Mark Male of IIARI.
Fortunately institutions such as the American Red Cross will provide assistance to victims, but it’s not nearly enough to replace everything they’ve lost.
The average cost of renter’s insurance is about 30 dollars per month.