Only 41 Percent Of Renters Carry Renters Insurance

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The Editors's picture

Only 41 percent of renters carry renters insurance, a substantial difference from 95 percent of homeowners who carry homeowner’s insurance policies, according to a new poll from the Insurance Information Institute.

The number of renters has reached a near all-time high of 43 million according to the current population survey/housing vacancy survey at the U.S. Census Bureau.

"Many renters underestimate both the value and affordability of renters insurance,"  Mendi Riddle, vice president of product and pricing for Nationwide's personal lines, said in a release.

 "Not only does renters insurance provide coverage for belongings inside the residence should those items be stolen, destroyed or damaged, but the coverage may also extend to personal items renters keep inside their vehicle. Additionally, renters insurance helps pay for covered damage or bodily injury to others caused by an accident that may occur at their residence," she said in the release.

3 myths about renters insurance

  • Myth: A landlord's insurance policy will cover a renter's personal belongings in the event of fire or theft.
    Truth: While a landlord's insurance policy will likely cover the dwelling and infrastructure of that dwelling, that coverage typically does not extend to the possessions owned by the renter.
  • Myth: Renters insurance is expensive.
    Truth: On average, renters insurance costs less than $20 per month.
  • Myth: Renters insurance coverage is limited.
    Truth: A renters insurance policy typically provides coverage for the loss or destruction of personal belongings in the event of a covered peril.

What a renters insurance policy typically covers

  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Windstorm
  • Hail
  • Frozen plumbing system
  • Vandalism

Renters insurance may also provide coverage if:

  • A renter is forced to temporarily move out of their home due to a covered loss.
  • A person is injured in the renter's apartment or home and requires medical attention.
  • Items a renter keeps inside their vehicle are damaged or lost.

Based on Nationwide claims data, the following were the most common renters insurance claims submitted by its members in 2017:

  • Theft (from dwelling or vehicle)
  • Water damage (non-weather related)
  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Liability
  • Wind related

"Having to replace possessions such as clothing, furniture and electronics can be very expensive should they be suddenly lost due to a fire or other tragic event," Riddle said in the relase.

 "Renters insurance provides peace of mind allowing renters to keep their lives on track should a major setback occur."

Expenditures homeowners and renters insurance

The average homeowners insurance premium rose by 3.6 percent in 2015, following a 3.3 percent increase in 2014, according to a January 2018 study by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The average renters insurance premium fell by 1.1 percent in 2015 after rising 1.1 percent in 2014, according to the Insurance Information Institute which provided the comparison.

About Nationwide
Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor's. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com

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