Nationwide: Half of renters have no home insurance

Jake Carter

March 22, 2021

More than two million privately rented households in the UK have no insurance policy on their properties, according to a survey conducted by Nationwide Building Society.

This is despite the contents of an average property amounting to £25,126.

The survey results show that 52% of the UK’s 4.44 million private renters have arranged contents insurance.

This could leave 48% without any contents cover at all, amounting to 2.13 million households across the UK, as 22% have no contents cover and a further 26% do not know if they have any cover or not.

An estimated 19% of renters mistakenly believe that it is the landlord’s responsibility to arrange contents insurance, while many others put off arranging cover as a way of reducing their monthly outgoings.

Despite many renters not having contents insurance, 48% worry that they will cause damage.

The most important elements of home insurance for renters are accidental damage at 22%, no fees for changing of cancelling the policy at 12% and home emergency cover at 11%.

The research also highlights that many renters are paying for cover they do not need, with 26% paying for buildings insurance, which is the responsibility of the landlord.

A third (32%) also admitted to forgetting to cancel the policy when they moved out of their rented accommodation.

This lack of awareness around home insurance cover could also leave many renters in breach of their tenancy agreements as 34% said they did not know if it was stipulated in their contract that contents insurance is required.

According to the research, some landlords are starting to clamp down on tenants, with 39% being required to arrange contents insurance and more than 67% of landlords asking to see proof of contents insurance before they could sign their tenancy agreement.

Nationwide Building Society surveyed more than 1,000 tenants.

Darren Black, head of general insurance at Nationwide Building Society, said: “It’s concerning that many renters don’t have contents insurance and are living under the mistaken belief that their landlord has cover in place to protect their belongings if they are lost, stolen or damaged.

“They could also be putting their tenancy at risk as many landlords stipulate that they must have cover in place as part of their tenancy agreement.

“When finances are tight, insurance can seem like an unnecessary expense, but without it you could end up losing everything you own.

“The majority of home insurance claims are for accidental damage, particularly at the moment when many of us are spending much more time at home.

“For a few pounds a month, home insurance can provide real peace of mind that you are protected should the worst happen.”

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