ROCKFORD, Ill (WIFR) -- Several residents affected by Thursday's fire at the Great Oaks apartment complex say they did not have renters insurance.
"I know that they say it doesn't cost that much, but you know in your pocket when you're on a very fixed income it's still money," says Terry Parisot, who escaped the fire and is now staying with relatives.
Renters insurance can cost anywhere from $10 to $20.
"Imagine waking up one day and everything that you use every day is gone," says Paul Arena on behalf of the Rockford Apartment Association. "It's going to take them awhile to get their lives back in order."
Parisot is unable to enter her home to see the damage. She says she was on the verge of getting insurance before the fire. Now she is trying to stay strong for her son, who has autism.
"He'll see me and be like, mom stop crying, stop crying, because he thinks you know that we're going to be able to go back into our apartment and we're not," she tells 23 News. Insurance agents say they encourage everyone to have the insurance in case of a tragedy.
"The policy mainly covers contents, that's what most people are concerned about. It also covers additional living expenses," explains State Farm's Brian Boyer. "So these people in Great Oaks, I don't know where they're at now but they have to be someplace, and the policy can provide for a living expense at another location."
Boyer says getting insurance is an easy process. He suggests calling local agents to determine which policy plan is right for individual needs. He says his agency can provide a check in a time of crisis that same day. Parisot now urges anyone without the insurance to consider it.
"All I keep telling myself is we're alive, we're safe, and Thank God we had somewhere to go."