94% of College-Related Fires are in Off-Campus Housing

fire damage claimsAt most schools, college students can choose where they want to live. If on-campus housing is insufficient, out of budget, full, or the student prefers a different environment other than dorm life, some opt for off-campus housing. Whether a student is involved in a house-share, has a private apartment, or rents a home - they should know that nearly all college-related house fires occur in off-campus housing. The U.S. Fire Administration reports 94 percent of college-related housing fires are in off-campus residences.

The Triangle-area has a number of universities with both on and off-campus housing, some offering no housing at all. Earlier this year a Wake Technical Community College student died in a house fire in Raleigh. (Wake Tech is a commuter campus.) Almost two decades ago, a fraternity house at UNC Chapel Hill caught fire and took the lives of five people.

Renters--no matter if they live on or off campus, in an apartment community or a private home--can apply for renters insurance. (Individuals should maintain active coverage all the time--even if they live at home with parents. Check with an insurance provider to learn eligiblity requirements.) How much coverage should one have? Attorney Brent Adams always stresses everyone should have as much insurance coverage as they can afford.

Renters insurance is a type of coverage tenants can pay for that is basically a "contents" policy. A homeowner has homeowner insurance to help cover house repairs and property replacement from storm damage or a broken pipe, while a tenant can have a renter's insurance policy to help repair or replace personal property (computer, clothing, appliances, etc.) if damaged due to an act covered by their policy. Renter's insurance policies can also offer some liability coverage in the event someone trips-and-falls or gets bit by a dog while inside the tenant's space.

Sometimes insurance companies deny claims. Insurance companies, like any company, are focused on generating profit and by denying a claim or paying out less than what's in the policy, they might reduce their expenses. Some policy holders just accept what the insurance company says and do not question a denied or underpaid claim. That doesn't necessarily mean the insurance company is accurate or acting in accordance with the law. These matters are usually referred to as "bad faith" insurance claims. If a policy states what is covered and how much is covered, and the company chooses to deny or underpay an eligible claim - the policy holder can file an insurance dispute. Curious if a dispute is valid? Schedule a complimentary review with one of our insurance dispute attorneys.

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