Fairport Harbor fire victims deal with a lack of insurance coverage

Renters insurance can save victims thousands

FAIRPORT HARBOR, Ohio - The clean-up following the Fairport Harbor gas explosion and fires will likely take several weeks, but for some of the victims, it may take a lot longer, especially for those who did not have renters insurance.

Amanda Botts lost everything she owned after a gas explosion and fire raced through her Fairport Harbor apartment building. 

"The fire started in the basement," Botts said. "I never thought I would lose all my clothing."

Unfortunately, Botts and other tenants at the apartment didn't have renters insurance coverage.

"We did have renters insurance at out other apartment, but we canceled that," Botts said. "We just moved two weeks ago and I didn't have the chance to move it over." 

Botts and others who were living at the apartment building are now staying a hotel until other arraignments can be made. Five On Your Side contacted Dominion East Ohio and the Painseville Salvation Army, both will continue to help Botts and her neighbors deal with the loss of their personal belongings.

Fairport Harbor insurance agent Linda Coffman outlined how easy it is to obtain renters insurance, and how inexpensive it can be.

"Most renters can insure their personal property for about $20 per month," said Coffman. "Unfortunately, about 50 percent of renters don't have insurance coverage."

It's important homeowners and renters have the proper coverage, and understand the terms and conditions listed in their insurance policies. Consumers should have their insurance coverage re-evaluated at least once every two years.

Homeowners and renters should have a written inventory of their personal belongings, and keep the list in a safe location. The written inventory list can also be augmented with pictures or video of the specific items in your home.

Tips on how to save money on renters or homeowners insurance can be found by clicking on this link http://personalinsure.about.com/od/renters/a/aa021107a.htm

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Fairport Fires Coverage

PUCO fines Dominion East Ohio $500,000 following investigation of Fairport Harbor fires, explosions PUCO fines Dominion East Ohio $500,000 following investigation of Fairport Harbor fires, explosions

The PUCO has ordered Dominion East Ohio pay a $500,000 fine and take steps to ensure compliance with federal natural gas pipeline safety standards following last year's fires and explosions.