Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Insurance Information Institute: Only 37 percent of renters have insurance

The number of people who rent a place to live instead of buying continues to rise, especially in high-cost urban areas. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), only 37 percent of renters have insurance on their belongings, compared to 95 percent of homeowners who have a homeowners policy. Read the full report.

“Renters insurance provides a very important financial safety net when there is a disaster,” said Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president and chief communications officer for the I.I.I. in a news release. “And, renters insurance is relatively inexpensive — the average cost of a renter’s policy is only $187 per year, or less than four dollars per week.”

Homeownership has fallen for over the past decade, according to Pew Research. The Northwest Insurance Council reports that up to 45 percent of people in the Puget Sound region rent rather than own their residence. That trend is mirrored in other major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston, where renters outnumber homeowners, the U.S. Census Bureau reports.

Landlords typically have insurance to cover the value of the property and structure, but that coverage does not cover the renter’s belongings (contents). A standard renter’s policy covers contents, personal liability, premises medical coverage if someone is injured on the property you rent, and additional living expenses if you have to temporarily relocate from your rental property.

Read more about renter insurance. Need help? Contact our consumer advocates online or at 1-800-562-6900.