Apartment fire raises awareness of renters insurance

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -- A warning after a massive fire rips through a Richmond apartment complex. One woman, who thought she had renters insurance, got a rude awakening: she didn't have that insurance.

It's Julia Cassata's last night at the Holiday Inn and tomorrow she doesn't know where she'll stay. This after a massive, wind-fueled fire tore through her apartment building early Saturday morning. She didn't have renters insurance.

"Make sure their renters policy is okay and to make sure they are covered because I'm 35 and I've lost everything," said Julia.

Julia found out about a month before her place went up in flames that her renters insurance company dropped her coverage. Since then she's been trying to get a new policy, but to no avail.

"If I could help one family that they don't have to go through what I'm going through and to keep on top of your stuff, even if it comes out of your account, make sure you have it," added Julia.

That's because the apartment complex is not required to provide a new place to stay.

Cindy Kotcamp is the manager at the fire damaged complex. "Make sure it's still in effect, especially when it comes up for renewal. It's supposed to automatically renew but things slip through the cracks sometimes."

Cindy says the property requires renters insurance because a similar fire that happened at the complex just 8 years ago.

Insurance that could give you some peace of mind -- in case this happens to you.

"$10 a month to save you from not knowing where you are going to stay tomorrow night," said Julia.

Renters insurance costs, on average, about $100 a year.

The people affected by last weekend's fire are getting a check on Friday, including a prorated February rent rate and their entire security deposit back.

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