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Confessions of a First-Time Renter: Stoves, Smoke Alarms and (Feelings of) Security

Beep! Beep! Beep!

The shrill sound of my smoke alarm shook me out of my brief moment of confusion. Ten seconds earlier, I’d opened the door to my preheating oven and encountered a small cloud of smoke. So much for a quick dinner…

Needless to say, the next few minutes were a frantic blur: windows opened, back door flung wide open, fans set on high. I silently mused about the irony of the situation while vigorously flapping a hand towel to disperse the smoke.

Why the irony? Earlier that day – my first official day in my new apartment – I had called my insurance agent and told him I needed my own auto and renters insurance. My agent delivered: I was given a quote within 30 minutes, and all of my coverages were thoroughly explained to me. I felt confident signing the dotted line because everyone had been so helpful.

What wasn’t helpful, however, was my oven having a mind of its own when I wanted to cook. Turns out, it just needed a good cleaning. And that was the last of it, right?

Wrong. Sure enough, two weeks later, one of the pilot lights on my stove top went out as well. (Did I mention this thing is a dinosaur?) Let’s just say that the fact that I could smell a little gas was not comforting in the least. Panic ensued until I discovered that it’s common to smell some gas when the pilot light goes out on older stove models. Turns out there’s an easy fix to that too – just relight it. (No, your hand will not blow off, my mom assured me when I called her freaking out.)

Renting has truly been a learning experience so far. And aside from the time my overzealous oven hated on my pizza rolls and set off THREE smoke alarms, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Knowing that I had insurance to cover my stuff in case my oven has a meltdown really took a weight off my shoulders. And I learned a valuable lesson when it comes to gas stoves: If you smell it, say something.

While my situation wasn’t serious, some are. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so call your gas company or your landlord (I called my maintenance guy) and get it taken care of ASAP!

Speaking of gas–I had to contact the utility company to have it turned on when I moved in. Tune in later for my next post when I offer a complete list of the utilities you need to handle when you move.  

ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of July 2022 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.