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College Station family loses nearly everything in apartment fire, personal property not covered by renters insurance

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 6:23 PM CDT
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COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KBTX) - Alika Broussard received a wake-up call she never expected Monday around 2 a.m. She opened her bedroom door and only saw smoke. At the time, she didn’t know where it was coming from.

Soon after, flames also filled her three-bedroom apartment. She later found out the fire started because of a defective bathroom fan. Her family was left with nearly nothing.

“Between the smoke, smoke inhalation, water damage and the fire... nothing,” Broussard said. “Either it stinks, it’s mildewed or it’s broken.”

Broussard’s family was moved into a two-bedroom apartment later that day. On Tuesday, she went to her leasing office thinking she’d be able to file a claim through the renters insurance she pays monthly through The Pearl Apartments. She found out that wasn’t the case.

“Everybody in the apartment complex is considering themselves to be paying renters insurance for their property for their things, but come to find out you’re paying property insurance,” Broussard said.

She has lived at the apartment complex for nearly three years and has paid for the complex’s insurance a majority of that time. Broussard believes the apartment complex didn’t do an adequate job of explaining the insurance option.

This is why experts believe it’s important to read through rental agreements carefully before signing. Katie Galan, regional director with the Better Business Bureau, said it can also be helpful to contact an apartment complex’s insurance company before signing a lease to know what you are and are not liable for in case of an emergency.

“If you just take a little extra time on the front end and do that little extra research, it will hopefully save you some heartache later on down the road,” Galan said.

Broussard now warns others to be more careful when reading through apartment leases and knowing what the apartment’s insurance covers.

“All I can tell you is to be careful, make sure you get your policies, make sure you understand and read the information,” Broussard said. “Ask questions and get everything in writing.”

She’s now working to replace her family’s belongings. Those wanting to help, click here.

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