Updated: Dec. 31, 2021, 7:12 a.m. | Published: Dec. 31, 2021, 7:12 a.m.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

By Nancy Eshelman | Special to PennLive

Fire!

Hearing someone scream that word ranks high on the list of awful experiences.

Unfortunately, a lot of our neighbors have heard that word in recent weeks.

Tragically, some of these fires have involved loss of life, an unimaginable horror. All of them have caused disruption of life, as homes become uninhabitable and possessions are destroyed.

Once the flames are knocked down, people always ask how a fire started. Part of that is curiosity. The other part is that thing we all do to make ourselves feel better.https://b4ea9314564fb9def1506638bc809320.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Unattended cooking? Oh, I would never do that.

Left a candle burning overnight? Wouldn’t happen in my house.

Clogged dryer vent? Oh, I keep mine clean.

It’s a defense mechanism within us so we can convince ourselves we won’t be the next victim.

Next question concerns smoke alarms. Did they have them? Were they operational? It’s akin to asking if an accident victim was wearing a seat belt.

As someone who never expected to watch her home burn on a Sunday afternoon (electrical, and alarms shrieked), let me ask you the most important question of all: Do you have fire insurance?

I’m not selling insurance, and I’m not related to anyone who sells insurance, but, from experience, it’s something everyone should have.

When my house burned a few years ago, I, along with my granddaughter and two great-grandsons, were left standing outside with just the clothes on our backs. Even with insurance, that’s a terrifying feeling. Everything you own is burned, saturated with smoke or dripping from the fire hoses.https://b4ea9314564fb9def1506638bc809320.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

The four of us spent the first night in a hotel with food vouchers and some toiletries, courtesy of the Red Cross. The following morning, my insurance agent arrived with a check, a very large check, and told us to buy necessities.

Necessities for me at that moment included shoes. I’d been in slippers when the fire started. For the toddler, it was diapers and a few toys. Of course, we all needed clothes, but the older boy also desperately needed reassurance. He’d watched all his possessions go up in smoke. I determined that the best therapy for him would be a replacement Xbox.

Thanks to insurance, I could provide that.

Also, thanks to insurance, we were able to spend the next three months in a long-term hotel, with a swimming pool and laundry facilities. We could eat in restaurants on the insurance company’s dime or heat food they paid for in our tiny kitchen.

A couple of years later when I sold my house and downsized to an apartment, one of my first purchases was renter’s insurance. If you can afford a fancy coffee every day or a couple of tattoos every year, you can afford renter’s insurance.

Seriously, you can’t afford not to have it.

Mine runs with my auto insurance. It’s a few extra dollars every month that I don’t even miss.

That defense mechanism we have charms us into thinking we’re safe because we’re careful and doing everything right. We convince ourselves fire isn’t in our future.

But I’m living proof that we just never know.

Start the New Year right. Pick up some insurance. Then, hope you’ll never have to use it.

NANCY ESHELMANcolumnist1@verizon.net

More from Nancy:

With fancy hats atop her head, and filling her home, central Pa. woman inspires smiles | Nancy Eshelman

What’s this world coming to? The news makes me wonder | Nancy Eshelman