The Ohio University community suffered a loss of several buildings this weekend that current students and alumni felt like were their home away from home. Several buildings on Union St, including Jacks Floral Shop, the Smoke Shop, The Union and Jackie O’s caught on fire. What makes these losses worse is that approximately 30 students are now homeless. They lived in the apartments above these businesses.
The owners of these buildings should have insurance to cover the structures, making their losses a little less catastrophic, but what about the students! When I was a student at OU and was renting an apartment, I really never even thought of having renters insurance on the contents of my apartment, let alone thinking that something would ever happen to my apartment. The owners of the buildings where tenants live only have coverage on the buildings themselves, leaving the tenants to fend for themselves if something would happen to their homes.
As I hope that all of the students who loss their homes had renters insurance, most probably did not. Renters insurance, which fire is a covered loss, would cover to replace most if not all of the contents of the renters apartment, depending on the coverage amount in the policy and can provide money for the tenant to stay at a hotel until another apartment is found or until they have reached the coverage amount limits in their policy. Even though this policy can’t replace the photos and memorabilia the student had, it can give them the peace of mind that if this would happen, they can replace their computer, textbooks, clothing and the other necessities they would need.
I’m so thankful that I never had to go through what these students had to go through, but I know now, that I will always have renters insurance as long as I rent because you never know when something will happen and you will need to have everything replaced. My heart goes out to all of those students and the owners of the buildings, Athens is my second home and seeing anything horrible happen to it breaks my heart.
Tara Givens, Ohio University Class of 2011
Photos courtesy of Facebook