Got Renters Insurance?
For a Tenant, a Must - A Landlord, Required
July, 2021 - Issue #201
courtesy of Shutterstock
courtesy of Shutterstock

Approximately 30 percent of the homes in Santa Clarita are renter occupied, but - based on national averages - only 41 percent of them carry rental insurance.
Why does this statistic give experts in the world of damage recovery and restoration pause?
"Nearly 100,000 people in the Santa Clarita Valley live in a rental home - and approximately 60,000 of those are not protected by rental insurance - a huge number, proportionally," explains Joel Moss, co-owner of Paul Davis Restoration of Santa Clarita, a locally owned and operated company voted SCV's "Best Of" four years in a row.
"Each one of those 60,000 individuals could lose tens of thousands of dollars in property; could find themselves paying for contents repair themselves; could even wind up unhoused - all because they don't realize that the landlord's homeowners insurance policy, in most cases, doesn't protect them if they experience damage to the home," explains the restoration professional.
"If you're a landlord, write this into the lease agreement. Make renters insurance mandatory. If you're a renter, this is a no brainer - it's some of the cheapest coverage you can get. Call your insurance provider and make it happen. DON'T WAIT."
Joel Moss, co-owner of Paul Davis Restoration of Santa Clarita
And, when it comes to damage, it's more a matter of "when" than "if." Every year, about 1 in 50 homeowners will experience water damage; one in 20 homes will have an insurance claim annually.
"These are incredibly-common occurrences. What happens when a washing machine hookup on the second floor comes loose, leaks through the ceiling and soaks all of a renter's furniture in the living room, ruining it? Or there's a fire - and the renters lose everything? The homeowner's policy often only covers restoration for the homeowner - and that's it,"
explains Moss.
"If you're a renter without renters insurance, you don't get your belongings replaced. You don't get housing via assisted-living funds. If the damage was accidental and not due to documented neglect, you have little legal recompense. The homeowner's policy allows the restoration company to move your belongings to the side - and that's it. It's heartbreaking and so preventable," says Moss, who has worked in the industry for over two decades.
In contrast, renters who are covered by insurance can make a claim with their insurance provider that can cover their losses.
"Paul Davis Restoration of Santa Clarita recently helped a Castaic resident - a renter - who had a leak in the kitchen. The landlord made a claim on the homeowner's insurance and they made a plan for mitigation, repair and new construction, estimated to take six weeks. Because the renter had renters insurance, they also filed their own claim and were put up in a very nice airbnb for the duration of the construction. Their damaged belongings were replaced at market value. What could be cleaned was packed out, deodorized, stored and put back right where it belonged. It was as low-stress for everyone as possible - the renters even joked that they got a nice vacation out of it! They were happy campers and came home to a gorgeous, brand-new kitchen. That's the difference renters insurance makes."

Paul Davis Restoration is the "Middle Man" When There's Damage in a Rental Home
"It's our company policy and practice to advocate on behalf of the insurance policy holder and to interact with the agents and adjusters directly on behalf of our clients," explains Paul Davis Restoration of Santa Clarita co-owner Joel Moss. "But when you have two policyholders and two different insurance companies, it can really take a lot of finesse and communication skills to be the go between. Our staff is incredibly experienced in doing so - defusing any potential tension between landlord and tenant while negotiating and scheduling with both insurers for
equitable settlements. Ultimately, coverage is granted based on what is in the specific policy."
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