Oklahoma Tornadoes: Spring 2013, — May 29, 2013 11:52 — 63 Comments

Lessons from Moore: Renters Insurance

Renters rely on insurance first, federal aid second

A FEMA trailer is set up at the First Baptist Church in Moore. It is at the same physical address where the insurers have camped out; however, there are dozens of insurance companies situated on the west side of the church, while FEMA’s single mobile unit and personnel are on the opposite side. This separation may be accidental, yet there’s a message:

If you have renters insurance, you may get an immediate check from your insurer for additional living expenses if your home is uninhabitable. FEMA is not handing out checks; they are registering people for possible aid.

The FEMA team lead in Moore explained that insurance comes first – and pays first. If you have renters insurance and suffered damage from the tornado, the first call made should be to your insurer. If the renters insurance purchased is insufficient to cover your losses, then there are two federal aid possibilities. The first could be in the form of a loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA). These loans are not just for business owners, by the way. If individuals do not qualify for the SBA loan, then they may be eligible for a FEMA grant. That’s why there is a registration process – to determine who is eligible for what type of aid.

FEMA’s leader in Moore said some renters were told by their landlord that they did not have to register for FEMA aid because the landlord had done so. This is bad advice! The landlord is registering for aid for the building itself; renters must register for aid for their personal belongings on their own.

Insurance Tip: Keep asking questions. After a disaster, the go-to person for your answers should be your insurance agent or company.

For more information on renters insurance, see:

For federal aid, you can apply by phone at 1-800-621-FEMA (3363) or online at www.disasterassistance.gov.

63 Comments

  1. miguel says:

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  2. Floyd says:

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  6. Kent says:

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