It is heart wrenching to see the tenants in demolished apartment buildings begging for assistance, living days into weeks without power or shelter. They are asking non-profits, private citizens, and the government to help them with the bare necessities of life. Many don’t speak English or have money to go to a safer place.
However, it didn’t need to be this way for these tenants. These people could be staying in a motel, maybe not in Cedar Rapids, but someplace and their stay in a hotel/motel would be completely covered.
It isn’t a government handout. The money isn’t a gift – it’s called “Renters Insurance”.
If tenants would have known or have purchased renters insurance when they started renting, their possessions and a place to stay would be covered immediately. At the point of displacement, the tenants could have called their insurance company and been in a dry safe place that night. Instead they are now living in tents in parking lots.
Coverage is only $100 – $150 per year and covers personal items and their liability should they have an accident and cause damage to the building or their unit.
If they are college students who are still under their parents’ policy, their situation may still be covered under their parents’ policy.
There is some help available now. The Iowa REALTOR® Association has some funds to help tenants find a place to live. Use this link for more information: https://www.iowarealtors.com/news/derecho-storm-relief.
Now’s the time to act before another disaster happens. Tell anyone and everyone who rents to purchase renters insurance. Tenants can sign up for it with the same insurance company as their car insurance. They may even get a break on their car insurance, so the premium for their renters insurance is almost paying for itself. It is not a waste of money.
Be prepared for the next tornado, inland hurricane, fire, or flood. Have them purchase renters insurance now!!