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Fire is top among renters' fears, despite lack of insurance

Posted On Tue, July 24, 2012

A new survey from Allstate has tapped into the minds of the increasing number of renters in the United States. As far as fears go, the insurance company's polling revealed that fire is the most concerning.

Surprisingly, that fear has spurred few renters to purchase renters insurance. In fact, only 45 percent claimed to have renters insurance, despite low insurance rates.

"The average renter owns about $30,000 worth of possessions, and a renters insurance policy can help cover losses due to common perils like theft, fire and smoke, vandalism and water damage," said vice president of Allstate's consumer household unit Keith Rutman.

The survey also revealed that for 54 percent of renters, it would likely take two or three years to replace items destroyed or damaged.

Allstate's survey comes at a time when many cities are considering progressive smoking bans in rented buildings. In California, the Santa Monica city council recently passed such a ban by a margin of 4-2 in preliminary voting.

If the law ultimately passes, it would follow similar legislation passed in other California cities, including a residential smoking ban passed in Belmont in 2007.

While Santa Monica officials' stated purpose for the ban is protect citizens from second-hand smoke, the law would undoubtedly protect rental units from smoke damage and accidental fire.

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