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Renters Aren't Getting Insured

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

July 24, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Georgia renters aren't required by law to purchase renter's insurance. Some local apartments require it, but even people who have the coverage aren't taking the time to make an inventory of their possessions.

"The National Fire Protection Asssociation did a survey and they found that every 76 seconds in this country there is a residential fire," explains Marvin Gibson of Allstate Insurance Company. That should be reason enough to get insured. But for twenty-five year old Josh Watts, it just isn't his priority.

"When I lived up in Iowa I had renter's insurance because it was mandatory. Then I moved down here. They recommended it, but didn't require it so, I haven't gotten it," he says.

But many apartments do require their renter's to purchase coverage. That was the case for some local college students.

"I just got it because I had to," says Dusty Fellows a student at Darton College.

And it's a good thing. But these boys, like many other renters, don't have an accurate account of the inventory in their apartment.

"I think we wrote down some stuff, but we didn't write too much down," says Dusty.

"If you have an accurate record of what you have and all your contents, that will speed up the process and without those accurate records, it can be a very slow process," says Gibson.

Allstate did a recent survey of Georgia renters. They found that 61 percent of renters do NOT have a home inventory check list. And fewer than one in four Georgia renters have taken the time to take photos or videos of their belongings. They also found that most people underestimate the threat theft poses. In 2006 there were about 85,000 burglaries in Georgia.

"The intent of a renter's policy is to put you back in the same position that you were , prior to the loss, no better, no worse as quickly as possible," Gibson says. And that process can be a quick one, if you make your list, and update it every one to two years.

You can get a basic renter's insurance policy for only a few dollars a week. Flood insurance requires a separate policy.

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