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[ADVICE] Buy Renters’ Insurance

I was recently reminded of an article I wrote with the same title as the title of this post, for the defunct Jewish blog, Jewneric, back in 2008. I was married for a little over a year and renting an apartment in Manhattan at the time. While I have been a homeowner for 11 years now, my advice to anyone renting an apartment, young or young at heart, I would still double down on this advice.

Here’s the article, written by me in my mid-20’s with some sage wisdom:

[image: wikimedia]

This past Friday night my wife and I experienced something that we hope no one else ever has to experience in their lives… fire. When we returned from our Shabbat dinner around the corner around 12AM, we saw 5 firetrucks surrounding our corner. My friends and neighbors quickly let us know that it was our apartment that had been on fire.

We headed to the apt to find our convenient “Shabbat” combo-lock busted in. Walking into the apt, everything was black… covered in a film of soot. Baruch Hashem (thank G-d!), the main damage was confined to the living room: our dining room table and chairs are torched. Everything else is either black from soot, or waterlogged from the firefighters.

Cause of the fire: officially unknown; potentially (likely) Shabbat candles; how it happened, we don’t really know for certain.

Here’s the good news: everyone is OK, and… we have renters’ insurance! Today we met with our claims adjuster from Allstate and she was so nice, and so helpful. We are being reimbursed for every item of property we own that has been damaged, or even touched by soot (except things that can be reasonably cleaned).

Although we are not living at home, and may not be living at home for quite some time, my wife and I are at ease knowing that everything will be good as new, and that we didn’t lose thousands of dollars in possessions.  Additionally, we have the option to stay in a hotel and have the insurance cover it! Awesome! We are currently staying by close friends across the street, but we can’t stay here forever and a hotel room would be nice until we can get back on our feet.

In the end, my advice to EVERYONE, married or single, BUY RENTERS’ INSURANCE!! Do your research, get multiple quotes, and speak to friends, but do it! The insurance comapny treated us very nicely, and we should be getting a nice reimbursement check soon (if anything changes, I’ll be sure to note it here). We are paying under $300 for the year of insurance coverage for a one-bedroom in Manhattan, covering approximately $33,000 of possessions.

So unless you think you’re impervious to theft, fires, or water damage, buy renters’ insurance!

Here’s a bit of a follow up:

Our insurance company at the time assessed that it was likely our Shabbat candles that did the damage, combined with our water-resistant table cloth, which happens to be highly flammable (we had no idea – we were young and still learning). The great news was that we were cut a check for 90% of our total policy. That allowed us to replace destroyed items, but it also allowed us to bank a decent chunk of change that inevitably allowed us to put a downpayment on our first home 2 years later.

Do your research, and see which companies offer the best plans for you. Companies like Lemonade, Allstate, StateFarm, Progressive, Liberty Mutual, and others are great places to start.

About the author

Dani Klein

Dani Klein founded YeahThatsKosher in 2008 as a global kosher restaurant & travel resource for the Jewish community.

He is passionate about traveling the world, good kosher food / restaurants, social media & the web, technology, hiking, strategy games, and spending time with his friends & family.