After several large fires over the summer in East Boston, City Councilor Sal LaMattina is urging residents to take out renters’ insurance for their apartments. The last major fire, a six-alarm blaze on Sumner and Webster Streets, left 19 people homeless. The neighborhood quickly banned together to collect clothes for the families as well as raise money.
While homeowners are required to provide liability insurance for their rental properties but bears no responsibility for the tenant’s belongings.“Time and time again we have seen fires that leave people with nothing,” said LaMattina. “It’s sad but if these residents had renters’ insurance they could have been covered and received an insurance claim check for their lost or damaged property.
LaMattina added that renters’ insurance does not only protect tenants against fire but also theft and vandalism. Renters’ insurance is an insurance policy which provides most of the benefits of homeowners’ insurance. Renters’ insurance does not include coverage for the dwelling or structure. LaMattina said there is a misconception that renters’ insurance is expensive but he said it can be very affordable.
“I have seen renters’ insurance policies for as little as $5 per month,” said LaMattina. “I think it would be beneficial, seeing as by in large East Boston is predominately made up of renters, to urge residents to look into taking out a policy.”Already in Eastie, some large rental properties require tenants to hold renters’ insurance as a lease requirement. This is done to protect both the landlord and other tenants of larger rental properties. If the tenant damages the premises, the landlord and other tenants can recover against the perpetrator’s insurance. Renters’ insurance also informs the tenant that the landlord is not responsible for their belongings and that the tenant has coverage for them. However, LaMattina said it is important to know what type of damage your insurance covers. Basically, there are three types of coverage available: loss of use, personal property, and personal liability.