Unprotected: Why a Cumberland County first responder is making a plea to renters

Carlisle/West Shore

EAST PENNSBORO, Pa. (WHTM) –A Cumberland County first responder is trying to torch the “it could never happen to me” mindset with an important plea.

Last year in East Pennsboro, 11 out of 13 families whose homes burned lost everything by not having insurance.

“You’re gonna lose everything,” said John Bruetsch, Cumberland County’s public information officer.

Two recent fires in West Fairview village displaced 22 people. Only four were covered.

Last Christmas, a fire tore through another East Pennsboro home.

“I said, ‘Do you guys have renters insurance?’ She just welled up to tears, and was like, ‘no,’ and they had a little child, and all their Christmas presents were gone,” Bruetsch said.

“Gone” is a word Reilly Insurance senior account executive Michael Kondraski is tired of saying.

“I’ve been doing this for 35 years and it’s probably the hardest policy to sell,” Kondraski said.

It’s hard to sell due to easy-breezy attitudes. He said many people’s default is “it won’t happen to me.”

“People say that as drivers, as well, and that’s why they’re called accidents. You don’t know when something is going to happen,” Kondraski said.

For around 30 cents a day, renters can get tens of thousands of coverage for belongings and hundreds of thousands in liability.

“If you cause something there, if you started a fire accidentally and burn the landlord’s building down and they come after you for the damages, you’re now protected,” Kondraski said.

Fires can easily happen, but getting covered is also a snap.

“You can contact us, of course. You can contact your current insurance agent. It can be done over the phone,” Kondraski said.

“It doesn’t help us, but it’s going to help the people that are involved,” Bruetsch said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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