Tivoli fire highlights value of renter's insurance
When moving into a new place, students may not think to plan ahead for disasters like a fire. After a recent fire at Tivoli Apartments near UCF, it might be time for students to consider purchasing renter's insurance.
Ali Hardenburgh, a UCF alumna and insurance sales agent for Justin Bauknight's Insurance Agency, said fire and theft are the most common disaster occurrences at apartments.
"Renter's insurance is important because it protects the content the person has," she said. "The actual housing [development] has insurance for their buildings, but they don't have insurance for the people who lose their stuff."
Hardenburgh said most renter's insurance policies start at $9 per month. Though each policy varies by company and coverage plan, most cover occurrences of fire, theft and vandalism, and some offer insurance that can be tied to an existing insurance policy.
"If you have your auto insurance with a company, you can tie in renters insurance and get a discount, so it works in your favor and you basically get the renter's insurance for free," she said.
In her experience, however, she said many students don't know about renter's insurance because most student housing developments don't require or request it.
Management at Tivoli Apartments said they will not comment on anything regarding the fire until the fall semester starts.
For on-campus housing, UCF spokeswoman Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala said students are not required to carry rental insurance, but it is encouraged.
According to the UCF housing agreement, UCF, its Board of Trustees and Department of Housing and Residence Life are not liable for damages, loss, theft of personal property, failure or interruption of utilities or injury to any person, except as expressly set forth in the Florida Statutes.
"The trust fund will not reimburse for the losses created by unforeseen events, accidents, injuries or theft that may occur. ... Students are encouraged to obtain their own personal and property loss insurance," the agreement states.
Max Wilmer, a sophomore business management major and community assistant at Northgate Lakes, said his complex does not require residents to carry renter's insurance, same for The Village at Alafaya Club.
"We do highly recommend [renter's insurance] since our leases are individualized," said leasing manager Ashly Nail. "We don't have a policy set up directly with our company. We do tell people that it's better to find it through their individual insurance, mostly through renter's insurance with their parents."
Eric Gutierrez is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter at @atticus_adrift or email him at EricG@CentralFloridaFuture.com.