US Marine Corps Renters Insurance, Who Needs It Anyway?
June 2, 2021
By Lance Cpl. Kerstin roberts
It’s a calm Monday morning in beautiful Southern California. The sun has not yet risen and a layer of fog calmly covers the windswept hills outside your home. You hear a familiar sound on your phone, it’s the daily alarm set to 0500.
You reach for your phone and press snooze. “Just five more minutes,” you said to yourself as your eyes slowly closed again. After what appears to be an hour, you hear the alarm again. 0550. Your eyes now open completely in shock. “Oh no,” you think to yourself. You are now very late for work.
With a sudden surge of newfound energy, you rush to the bathroom and try to complete your typical 30-minute morning routine in a record five minutes. You stumble towards the dresser. “Where’s my other sock,” you yell, as you grope in the dark. You rush to the microwave and toss a meal of pepperoni. You pick up your thermos and your backpack and run out the door.
After braving the morning traffic, you arrive at the office. Exasperated and breathless, you made it with two minutes to spare. Your stomach growls, “Oh no,” you whisper to yourself, you totally forgot to grab the food from the microwave.
Ten minutes pass and you get a frantic call from your wife. “The microwave is on fire!” You panic and immediately regret trying to cook that hasty breakfast. Several hours and several liters of water later, the base firefighters extinguished the flames and your kitchen is now more like a smoldering campfire.
Fortunately, no one was hurt, but much of your kitchen drywall is charred. You check your current insurance policy, and it does not cover accidental structural damage to your home. You are now responsible for paying for all repairs. You think to yourself, “what am I doing now?”
Renting a home is a big step in life, but it also comes with many unfamiliar obstacles and responsibilities. To ensure that military members are doing their best to protect themselves, their home and valuables from any unforeseen damage, renters are strongly encouraged to purchase a comprehensive tenant insurance plan.
Prior to 2015, privatized military family housing was capped at the prevailing Basic Housing Allowance (BAH) rates set by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), allowing residents of PPV Housing to automatically receive insurance. tenant under their lease. . On January 1, 2015, OSD removed the tenant insurance component from the BAH rate calculation in order to slow the growth of claims costs.
With privatized housing no longer providing coverage for personal property, tenants both on and off base are now responsible for purchasing insurance coverage for all tenants, including loss or damage to their belongings. and liability coverage.
“Renters insurance has more than one package option to choose from,” said Magali Onello, the housing claims section supervisor with the Family Housing Branch on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton. “I recommend to each tenant [whether renting on or off base] perform due diligence based on their family’s needs. That being said, renters insurance is one of the cheapest and most discreet policies that offers great benefits. “
There are many options available to you when considering tenant insurance. Although each insurance agency offers its own coverage plans, they mainly focus on two central elements: liability coverage and personal property coverage.
Liability coverage helps protect your assets and future income. For this coverage, you will need to consider your equity and the value of your assets, as well as your risk of being held liable for injury or damage. For example: you have a dog or live with roommates, or are looking to insure against any structural damage to the property itself.
Personal property coverage helps protect your personal belongings (i.e. jewelry, electronics, military equipment, etc.). The amount of coverage you need depends on the value of your belongings.
“Renters insurance is very similar to any other insurance,” said US Marine 1st Lt. Shawn Doublet, strategy and communications operations officer, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif. “Plans are available so that if something goes wrong, you have the option of filing a claim and recovering and / or repairing your property. Renter insurance is important because when something goes wrong you don’t have to take out your pocket for the full price of your damaged belongings most of the time. “
Not having a comprehensive rental insurance plan that protects against both civil liability and loss of personal property is risky and can lead to financial hardship and preventable debt for the family.
“In the event of an incident, a tenant may not be financially protected,” said Onello. “They risk having to be financially responsible, not only for their own property, but also for that of their owner. Circumstances include, but are not limited to, theft, accidental flooding or fires, etc.”
Not being fully insured may result in the liability to cover repair costs to your home in the event of structural damage. These undue hardships can be avoided by doing thorough research and choosing an insurer that offers comprehensive coverage that best protects you and your assets.
“For more information on renters insurance, there are two resources available: off-base referrals and the housing advocacy service,” Onello said. “These departments have knowledge of all areas relating to property management and will be able to guide service members to trusted companies and local agents who can help them. These departments act as intermediaries to provide options to professionals. industry that can empower the service member and their family to make the choice that best meets their family’s needs.
The military must always be ready to answer the nation’s call in times of crisis. Unfortunately, a crisis can strike you without warning. It is the responsibility of each resident to make informed decisions on all matters relating to their residence and to understand the potential risks associated with choosing not to take out a full tenant insurance plan, whether on or off. the base.
This press release was produced by the United States Marine Corps. The opinions expressed here are those of the author.