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Many going without renters insurance, poll finds

Posted On Mon, August 5, 2013

As policyholders review various home insurance rates in order to find the best deal for their dollar, but this type of quote comparison isn't being done nearly as much among individuals who rent their property, a new survey suggests.

According to a recent poll, which was conducted by the Insurance Information Institute, only two-thirds of renters have a renters insurance policy in place. This is despite the fact that more people are choosing this form of dwelling, particularly in large metropolitan statistical areas. The III showed that based on Census data, the share of housing among renters in the U.S. overall is more than 35 percent, up from 34 percent in 2009. It's much higher than this total in MSAs like New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. In all of these localities, more than half of households are rented.

Jeanne Salvatore, consumer spokesperson and senior vice president of the III, indicated that the scope of how few people have this type of coverage was particularly evident late last year.

"One of the biggest insurance problems after Sandy was the large number of renters who did not have coverage for their homes," said Salvatore. "It can be extremely expensive to have to re-buy the entire contents of your home, so a renters insurance policy provides very important financial protection when there is a hurricane or other covered disaster."

Renters insurance is affordable
One of the more compelling components of having a renters insurance policy is the fact that it's inexpensive. According to the latest data available, the average renters policy is about $185 per year, or $16 per month, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Another group of individuals who often don't have a renters policy are college students. Christopher Hackett, director of personal lines for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, said that this type of protection should be at the top of students' and parents' back-to-school shopping lists.

"When a child moves out of the house for the first time it's easy to forget that there are insurance questions for college students living away from home," said Hackett. "A simple renter's policy will give parents and students peace of mind that personal possessions are covered and will be replaced should something happen."

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