Many Renters Lack Insurance Despite Fear Over Fire Damage: Survey

July 11, 2012

As U.S. rental occupancy rates continue to rise, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, a new Allstate survey has found that the number one concern for renters is fire damage. The survey also revealed that 54 percent of renters say it would take three or more years to replace everything they lost if they didn’t have insurance, yet only 45 percent of U.S. renters have a renters insurance policy to protect their personal possessions and collectibles.

The average renter owns about $30,000 worth of possessions, according to Keith Rutman, vice president of Allstate’s Consumer Household unit. A renters insurance policy helps cover losses due to common perils like theft, fire and smoke, vandalism and water damage.

“It’s important for renters to know that their landlord’s insurance most likely will not cover the tenant’s personal belongings. A landlord may have coverage that can help cover the cost of structural damage to the dwelling if the unexpected happens, but renters may be faced with significant replacement costs for their furniture, clothes, electronics and other belongings,” said Rutman.

Additional findings from the survey include:

  • Thirty-two percent of renters made two or more major household purchases in the past two years.
  • Only about a third of renters have completed a home inventory to catalog their possessions, compared to 44 percent of homeowners.
  • Twenty five percent of renters use a home security system compared to 44 percent of homeowners.
  • Eighteen percent of renters have a coin collection, 12 percent have a shoe collection, nine percent collect jewelry and eight percent collect art or paintings.

The survey of Americans age 18 and over was conducted by phone December 3-6, 2011, among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 American adults.

The Allstate Corp. is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer.

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