Editorial: Forgoing insurance not worth the risk

Last week’s fire in an older Langley City apartment building has left tenants in six units out of their homes for an unknown length of time.

The most important thing, of course, is that nobody was injured or killed when the northeast corner of the wood frame building went up in flames last Wednesday morning.

But once the smoke (quite literally) cleared, it quickly became apparent that at least two units — and likely more — suffered heavy damage, meaning residents will have to make other living arrangements for the foreseeable future.

For some, that accommodation is going to come at a cost beyond their means. That’s before any consideration is given to replacing possessions lost to fire, smoke or water damage.

According to Langley’s emergency preparedness co-ordinator only one unit in the building was covered by tenant insurance, and it was not affected by the fire.

The cost of insurance is the obvious reason many renters choose to risk going without, when groceries, clothing, transportation, toiletries — all must-have items with relatively high price tags —  necessarily take precedence over “what-ifs.”

A quick scan of a few websites shows the cost of content insurance can range anywhere from $15 to $30 per month.

That will depend on the provider and the value of the items being insured. No doubt there are other factors at play as well.

Seen as a lump sum — $180 to $360 per year — the numbers are probably daunting to someone on a fixed income. But broken down to 50 cents or $1 per day, it suddenly seems like a fairly small price for some peace of mind.

None of this is an attempt to kick people when they’re down, but the misfortune of these residents should serve as a stark reminder for the rest of us that disaster can strike in a moment.

And it doesn’t care if you’ve got insurance.

Just Posted

Coleman decides against running for Surrey mayor

‘I’m a Langley guy,’ MLA says

Glow Langley returns bigger and brighter this Christmas

Organizers will also introduce Harvest Glow — a celebration of autumn

Aldergrove Food Bank leader ‘retires’

Darlene Isaak has a ‘legacy written in the hearts and bellies of the vulnerable’

A closer look at law enforcement for RCMP junior cadets

Annual Langley event marks 13th year

Langley man arrested for alleged voyeurism at BCIT

Burnaby RCMP have arrested a 48-year-old man after he allegedly took photos of a woman in a washroom

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

BC Games marks 40 years in 2018

Cowichan Games a milestone for BC Games Society

VIDEO: Life’s a beach at this B.C. sand sculpting contest

More than $50,000 was up for grabs at the annual contest held in Parksville

Most Read