House Fire Victim Stresses Importance of Renter's Insurance

By: Jessica Cunnington Email
By: Jessica Cunnington Email

May 5, 2013

A faulty fuse likely caused a massive house fire in Keswick on Friday, leaving six people homeless who did not have renter's insurance.

One resident says he suggests everyone get tenants insurance.

Felix Hernandez lost everything after the fire broke out in his home Friday morning. Only his Bible, passport and one family photo survived.

"It's very special to me -- my sister and brother at church. It's good and makes me happy," Hernandez said.

He is staying with family in Charlottesville until he moves to Richmond next week to start working again to rebuild the life he worked for here for many years.

"I don't have insurance," he said. And his advice to those who don't have renter's insurance?

"No, no good. Because this experience, if you don't have insurance, it's, everything is lost. And no bueno."

Debbie Cash, a managing broker at RE/MAX in Charlottesville, says she strongly suggests everyone make sure they get insurance, even if it means borrowing money to do it.

"They lost everything and you know, you want to avoid that disappointment," Cash said.

Cash says for new homeowners, it's an exciting time getting your new place and there's lots to think about. But renter's insurance should be at the top of the list.

"You can't depend on the landowner or homeowner's insurance to cover your personal belongings. Premiums can be very low -- anywhere from $115 to $140 a year -- and that is money extremely well spent."

As for Hernandez, he is looking forward to getting back to work and he is grateful he and his friends are safe.

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