Research reveal tenants think wrongly their contents are covered by landlord insurance

Almost a third of tenants in the private rented sector mistakenly think that their possessions are covered by their landlord’s insurance, new research has found.

Overall 43% do not have contents insurance with 29% believing that the buildings insurance policy taken out by landlords covers them, according to a study from Direct Line Home Insurance.

The main reason behind this is confusion amongst renters is that they believe they are covered by another insurance policy with 36% thinking that is the case.

And while 15% of tenants have had contents insurance in the past, some 28% have never had an insurance policy to cover their possessions and half of those aged 18 to 34 have not insured their contents.

One tenant, Nick Andrews from Willesden Junction, London, said that during four years renting while at university he did not think about contents insurance and didn’t understand the consequences that could come about as a result of being inadequately insured.

‘When I came to rent a home outside of further education, I was under the impression that my contents would be covered under the landlords insurance. Similarly, my partner assumed she would be covered under her parent’s home insurance policy, which is the case for university students but not for graduates,’ he explained.

They also realised that, despite the individual values of our contents not amounting to much, the total sum of the items added up to over £6,000. This total included things like beds, furniture, mobile phones, televisions, tech and clothes. ‘Following the penny drop moment, we decided it was in our best interest to get contents cover as we wouldn’t be able to afford to pay to replace all our items at once if we needed to,’ he added.

The highest value items that renters would need to replace are furniture, with the average household in the UK owning furniture worth around £1,621, followed by electronic at £1,342 and kitchen items at £919.

‘This research shows the true scale of the lack of insurance amongst the rental market in the UK, with over seven million renters leaving themselves at risk of losing their personal belongings and facing a huge bill at what is already an incredibly stressful time,’ said Jeremy Bristow, head of home insurance at Direct Line.

‘No matter whether you are living in rented accommodation or if you own your property, it is important to ensure that you have the appropriate home contents and personal possessions cover in place, so that you are not left out of pocket if the worst does happen,’ he added.

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