Only 39% of private tenants have contents insurance

January 20, 2014, 2:53 PM GMT+0

Just four in ten people renting from a private landlord have any form of contents insurance, a new report from YouGov shows.

The “Home Protection” study found that 39% of people renting from private landlords had some form of contents insurance (33% with standalone policies and 6% as part of a combined policy), compared with 48% of those renting from a local authority (47% standalone, 1% combined) and 51% of people renting from a local authority (46% standalone, 5% combined).

YouGov’s data shows that renters’ resistance to contents insurance is in stark contrast with homeowners. The research found that 89% of mortgage holders have contents insurance (73% combined with buildings) and 93% of people who own their homes have policies for their possessions (80% combined, 13% standalone).

The report also reveals that around nine in ten home owners have good things to say about contents insurance compared to about two-thirds of renters. YouGov found that 88% of mortgage holders and 90% of those who own their homes outright ascribe positive attributes to their policies, with the highest ranked opinions being that the policies are “essential” and provide “peace of mind”. By comparison, only a third of renters have positive things to say (70% among those renting from private landlords, 67% in local authority housing and 62% renting from a housing association).

Renters are far more likely than homeowners to think the policies are not worth the money and are not a vital part of their domestic set-up. Tenants are at least twice as likely (19% private landlord, 18% local authority, 13% housing association) as homeowners (7% mortgage holders, 6% outright owners) to think contents policies are “nice to have but not essential”. Similar numbers among both groups think the insurance is a “waste of money” (16% local authority, 13% private landlord,, 13% housing association compared to 6% mortgage holders and 5% of outright owners).

Simon Mottram, Director of Financial and Professional Services at YouGov, says: “The figures show the challenges the industry has in selling policies to renters. They are very unlikely to be in the market for a buildings policy, as this will most often be covered by the landlord. What is more, owning a contents policy is often not a stipulation of a tenancy agreement. With this challenge comes opportunity, however – the market amongst renters does represent greater room for growth.

“Providers face a tough task in turning renters into policy-holders as the belief still exists among many tenants that they don’t need contents insurance. Our research shows this stems from the idea that such policies are not essential and that they are a waste of money. At a time when wages have stagnated in real terms for many consumers, spending has increasingly been cut back to items they feel they can’t live without. Presently, a great number of renters feel they can live without contents insurance.”

Click here for more information about the Home Protection report.

Learn more about YouGov Reports.

Image courtesy of Getty.