Renters without contents insurance are at risk, especially with increased flood dangers

11 February 2008 / by Joy Tibbs
People living in rental accommodation are risking personal possessions worth £8 billion by not making sure they are insured, according to Zurich Insurance.

The company's research found that despite increased risk of flooding, and the ever present danger of theft, almost half a million – 37 per cent of people surveyed – do not have a home contents insurance policy in place.

Home underwriting manager, Steve Gilbert, said: "At this time of year, when many households are still recovering from the cost of Christmas, home contents insurance is often seen by renters as non-essential, and can slip down their list of priorities.

Renters did not appear overly concerned about their possessions, even though 33 per cent claimed their goods were worth more than £10,000. A worrying 22 per cent said it would take more than two years to replace personal property should it be damaged or stolen, while an incredible 32 per cent felt they would never be able to replace all their goods.

While eight per cent of those without home insurance are under the impression that they are covered by the landlord's insurance policy, 24 per cent do not think their possessions are worth enough to merit obtaining a home insurance policy.

Other reasons for failing to protect goods include the cost of insurance. More than half of respondents – 56 per cent – said the pressures of paying bills prevented them from taking out a home insurance policy, while 36 per cent cited debt repayments and 12 per cent cited pension contributions as reasons for not buying insurance.

However, others fail to insure goods because they prefer to spend money on luxuries such as holidays (10 per cent), while nine per cent chose holidays and seven per cent valued new clothes over buying an insurance policy.

"Whether renters are simply willing to risk their goods, or if it’s a matter of confusion over who’s responsible for cover, we urge all renters to take some time to investigate their position, consider their risk and see if they can really afford not to be covered," commented Mr Gilbert.

Figures from insurance group Aviva should be warning enough for those without contents insurance. Last summer's flooding cost the company £75 more than it forecasted, with claims totalling £475 million.

"Following the exceptional weather conditions in the UK in June and July last year, our general insurance business helped over 45,000 households and 6,000 businesses get back on their feet after the floods," reported group chief executive, Andrew Moss.

The unpredictable weather caught many renters and homeowners off guard and, although many were insured against flood damage, the devastating water damage hit many others hard in the pocket.

© Fair Investment Company Ltd