ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - An apartment fire in Midtown St. Louis is serving as a stark reminder for residents about renters insurance. The Better Business Bureau offers the following advice to people to protect themselves in the event of a fire or other tragedy:
*Check insurance company with BBB
*Check with your state insurance department, which has information on how insurers handle claims as well as information on costs and industry ratings.
*Consider the value of your possessions versus the cost of insurance. Even a college student can have property worth a few thousand dollars, such as computers, televisions, furniture, jewelry or small appliances. If you have specific items of high value, you also may need a rider, which covers those items.
*Ask what deductibles apply to the policy. Higher deductibles can save you money, but you will have to pay more out of your own pocket to replace things.
*Ask whether the policy will cover living costs if you are unable to occupy your current apartment or home.
*Ask about any exclusions. Are there types of property that won't be covered?
*Ask the insurer if they give discounts for burglar alarms, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems or deadbolts on exterior doors.
*If you are switching insurers, be sure that the new policy is in effect before dropping the old one.