Email insights: Sen. Audrey Gibson files legislation to protect renters

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In an email to constituents, Democratic Sen. Audrey Gibson of Jacksonville says she’s filed a renters protection bill.

SB 342 would require a residential agreement to advise that if renters insurance is not required, the renter’s personal belongings will not be covered in the event of damage to their domicile unless they acquire renters insurance.

“I am proud to sponsor this legislation to call attention to an issue that is happening in our state and many others, wherein people whose personal belongings and prized possessions have been lost largely to water damage and had no renters insurance, or knowledge that they needed the insurance to cover their personal property in a rental environment,” Gibson wrote in the email.

The bill simply allows that rental agreements include a “check-off” with language calling the renters’ attention to the fact.

In recent years, there has been a steady increase of renters, particularly after the housing market crash. Data shows that about 95 percent of homeowners have homeowners insurance, yet only 37 percent of renters have renters insurance, pointing largely to an unawareness by renters for the need to protect personal property.

Further, census data indicates that there is an income gap between renters and owners of above $20,000, making renters insurance even more important.

According to the email, Broward Democratic state Rep. Bobby D. DuBose is the bill’s co-sponsor.

Melissa Ross

In addition to her work writing for Florida Politics, Melissa Ross also hosts and produces WJCT’s First Coast Connect, the Jacksonville NPR/PBS station’s flagship local call-in public affairs radio program. The show has won four national awards from Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). First Coast Connect was also recognized in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 as Best Local Radio Show by Folio Weekly’s “Best Of Jax” Readers Poll and Melissa has also been recognized as Folio Weekly’s Best Local Radio Personality. As executive producer of The 904: Shadow on the Sunshine State, Melissa and WJCT received an Emmy in the “Documentary” category at the 2011 Suncoast Emmy Awards. The 904 examined Jacksonville’s status as Florida’s murder capital. During her years in broadcast television, Melissa picked up three additional Emmys for news and feature reporting. Melissa came to WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. Married with two children, Melissa is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism/Communications. She can be reached at [email protected]il.com.



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