Gwinnett County

Some ‘renter’s insurance’ does not cover your own property. Here’s what you need to know

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Tamacia Woolcock says her life now fits inside a couple of garbage bags after freezing temperatures caused pipes to burst in her Buford apartment last week.

“This is the new year, and this is not how I imagined my year would be starting,” said Woolcock.

Her frustration grew after learning none of her personal belongings were protected by renters insurance.

“I feel very angry,” she said.

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She told Channel 2′s Ashli Lincoln she thought she was covered after signing a renters insurance waiver. It’s sometimes known as indemnification coverage. The coverage was provided through her apartment complex. Woolcock says she paid $11 a month, thinking she was paying for renters insurance.

“It was not explained that in the case that something should happen my belongings would not be covered,” she said.

Mara Block, an attorney with the Atlanta Legal Aid Society says this isn’t an uncommon problem.

“I think my recommendation to tenants is just read everything really carefully,” she said.


Block says because Georgia law doesn’t require renters to have renters insurance, some companies opt for waiver programs. Block says it’s to protect themselves from legal liability if a renter doesn’t have personal renters insurance.

“They’re paying a small monthly fee to the landlord, so the landlord can be covered in the instance that there is some kind of damage,” Block said.

Consumer Advisor Clark Howard says renters should always have personal renters insurance.

“Unless you have your own renters insurance, that protects you, protects your possessions, you’re out of luck that when something happens that is not landlord negligence,” Clark Howard said.

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Renters with legal questions can contact the Atlanta Legal Aid Society.


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