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ESU Encourages Students to get Renters Insurance

SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP — A university in the Poconos is encouraging its students to get renters insurance after last week’s fire at University Ridge Ap...

SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP -- A university in the Poconos is encouraging its students to get renters insurance after last week's fire at University Ridge Apartments on the campus of East Stroudsburg.

More than 100 East Stroudsburg University students who live there were forced out due to smoke, water, and fire damage.

About 50 students got the all clear to move back into their apartments on Monday while others are still being put up at a nearby hotel.

University officials are now encouraging all students living on campus to get renters insurance. Many who don't have insurance say this is a lesson learned.

Amanda Amodeo, a senior, was one of the students forced out by the fire. Amodeo tells us she doesn't have renters insurance, but that will soon change.

"I am definitely going to get it in the future. I can't even imagine not having it now because of what happened and what happened to other people."

A lot of students lost personal property due to smoke, water, and fire damage.

The university is now strongly encouraging students living in both dorms and apartments to get renters insurance. The recommendation is included in housing papers students sign at the beginning of each year.

"In our housing agreement that they sign, we do tell them specifically we are not liable for personal items that are damaged and destroyed and that they should get renters insurance," said director of residence life and housing Robert Moses.

Damage to the building is covered under the university's insurance plan.

Resident life officials tell us that insurance won't allow for coverage of student personal property, that's why buying their own is encouraged.

Since the fire, many students have been looking into renters insurance and reading the emails the university has been sending out educating students on how they can do it. They tell us it's a couple of bucks that can go a long way.

"Especially after these unfortunate events, it's obvious life is unpredictable and I could only imagine if something like that ever happened to me," said junior Dickenson Clayton.

Other students tell us they think this is a lesson learned for all students to pay closer attention to the renter agreement.

"It's pretty cheap and a lot of parents have it, so a lot of students are able to get it, but I wish they did inform us more. You sign the contract and kind of go from there, but a lot of students are getting more informed about it now because of all the events," said senior Taylor Frances Cangeli.

Housing officials met with students who live in the damaged apartment building on Monday. For those who won't be able to move back in, they will be relocated to other housing on campus at no additional cost.

University officials are also working to help those who didn't have insurance get back on their feet.

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