We all know that Maryland renters insurance is important. If you haven’t gotten around to taking care of getting renters insurance in Bethesda just yet, you should buy a policy immediately. Why is today any more urgent than yesterday? Because an apartment fire in Bethesda offers a striking reminder of how quickly lives can be changed, with a million dollars in damage.
Bethesda renters insurance isn’t expensive, especially in relation to the benefits it offers. Recently, on a Sunday morning, an apartment fire in Bethesda took everything that many people had to their names. The fire started about 3 AM at Bethesda Hill Apartments, and resulted in not only the one million dollars in damages mentioned earlier, but in minor but unnecessary injuries to two different firefighters while battling the blaze.
The cause of this tragic apartment fire in Bethesda? A clothes dryer. The dryer in question appears to have been properly manufactured and installed, with mechanical maintenance performed as directed by the maker. What wasn’t performed is removal of the lint from the dryer. Dryer lint overheated, caught the dryer and its contents on fire, and as a result burned the four story apartment building nearly to the ground.
Generally, removal of lint from a clothes dryer and basic cleaning of other supplied appliances is the responsibility of the tenant and user of the appliances. While we can’t say for certain there wasn’t a lease provision to the contrary, it would certainly be out of the ordinary. What does that mean in real terms? It means that the tenant who neglected to clean the lint out of the dryer before using it is responsible for the $600,000 in damage to the building and the $400,000 of contents lost in the fire.
The building owner almost certainly has insurance on the structure. But Bethesda renters insurance will cover the deductible on the commercial policy, which could be upwards of $25,000 and for which the negligent tenant would otherwise be responsible. Bethesda renters insurance will also cover the deductibles on the policies other tenants carried, as well as defend the negligent tenant who started the fire against the claims and lawsuits which will doubtless arise from this tragic MoCo apartment fire.
That’s one of the benefits of having renters insurance in Montgomery County; The Maryland renters insurance company is required as part of the policy to defend you against claims and suits which could result in a claim under your liability coverage being paid. That protects you, the carrier, and the other insureds of the company. But at its core, what that means to you is that if you’re responsible for an apartment fire like this one, the attorney fees for your defense come out of the insurance company’s pockets, not out of yours. Those fees are not generally part of the liability limit of the policy, which leaves the entire policy limit available to pay claims if necessary.
Along with occupied apartments and a model unit, the leasing office of the complex was also significantly damaged by this fire. That’s where most of the contents loss comes from, and the leasing company will no doubt have little compunction about pursuing the negligent tenant for those losses.
Ultimately, you have two choices. You can either pay about fifteen dollars a month for the coverage you need, or be responsible for the damages. If you cause the fire, you’ll be paying on those damages for the rest of your life. If someone else causes the fire, your policy covers your property and then the insurance company takes care of subrogating against the negligent tenant to try to recoup both the money they paid and their deductible.
Bethesda renters insurance just makes sense.