1 September 2014

Australian renters fail to protect what's precious

RENTERS are 10 times less likely to insure their contents than homeowners despite having a high risk of being burgled, new research has found.

Understand Insurance’s Home and Contents Survey, undertaken by Quantum Research, reveals three out of four (74 per cent) renters do not insure their home’s contents – a stark contrast to just 7 per cent of homeowners who don’t have contents cover. The survey of more than 1000 renters and homeowners also finds that of the  renters who do have contents insurance, one in five (20 per cent) has had to make a claim, almost half 44 per cent) of which related to a burglary.

Only one in five (19 per cent) of homeowner’s claims relate to a burglary. With renting now the norm for a generation of Australians – about 4.5 million Australians now rent [i] – Understand Insurance spokesman Campbell Fuller said most renters were leaving themselves exposed
to significant financial loss. “Our Understand Insurance survey found three in four (74 per cent) renters do not insure their home’s contents. Renters who live in apartments are much less likely to have contents cover at 82 per cent compared with 68 per cent of house renters,” Mr Fuller said.

The research also shows renters who believe the replacement value of their contents is below $50,000 are less likely to take out contents insurance (84 per cent of this group do not have contents cover).

However, Mr Fuller said many renters did not know their belongings were not protected by their landlord's insurance policies. 

He said they may also be surprised at just how much they had to lose.

“Renters may not think they have valuables worth protecting, but a home’s contents - computers, tablets, TVs, furniture, mobile phones, bicycles, clothing, musical instruments, sporting equipment and even text books - can add up very quickly. All these items can be covered by contents or renter’s insurance," he said. 

He noted twice as many Australians now rent compared with 1981, and many are renting for longer. 

A third of the 1.8 million households in private rental accommodation have done so formore than a decade.“

An entire generation of renters is financially exposed by not having contents insurance, ” he said. 

The research has been released to coincide with MoneySmart Week (September 1 - 7), an initiative of Financial Literacy Australia 

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