An insurance firm says landlords should “educate” their tenants on the apparent need to get increased insurance cover.
Paymentshield claims that a recent YouGov poll, which it commissioned, questioned 1,000 adults and found that 67 per cent of those living in a rented property did not have contents insurance.
The firm goes on to say “that equates to over nine million renters in the UK living in a home where their possessions are not protected from being lost, stolen or damaged.”
This contrasts with 84 per cent of owners, who do have contents insurance in place.
The company believes there to be multiple reasons behind the low numbers among renters, including tenants underestimating the value of their contents and deeming insurance to be unnecessary or expensive.
It also feels that the figures demonstrate that the industry isn’t talking adequately enough to tenants about their needs.
“These figures present a stark warning for tenants, landlords and lettings agents, as not having the adequate insurance in place can lead to disastrous financial consequences” says chief executive Rob Evans.
”Many tenants moving into privately rented or social housing wrongly assume that their landlord’s insurance will cover them for their own belongings. The onus is on the tenant to get the right insurance in place, but the lettings industry also has a duty to help educate incoming tenants and plug the insurance gap”.
He goes on to say: “When homeowners arrange a mortgage, they typically get holistic financial advice and are required to take out buildings insurance by their lender – adding contents cover is a natural progression. Yet most tenants don’t discuss their protection needs when they enter into a new home, and so many are unaware of the risks they are exposed to or the cover available.
“As our research shows, very few are going looking for themselves, resulting in millions of tenants being uninsured”.
And as 25 per cent of those who do have the appropriate insurance apparently worry that it may have too low a level of cover, Evans adds: “Home and flexible working has become the norm for many and is likely to continue beyond the pandemic. Recent research has revealed a sharp rise in accidental damage in these new circumstances, so it is important to review insurance from time to time to ensure that you have appropriate cover”.