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Nearly half of renters may not have contents cover in place – survey

Vicky Shaw, PA Personal Finance Correspondent
·2-min read

Renters could be putting their tenancies as well as their possessions at risk by not having contents cover in place, Britain’s biggest building society has warned.

Some 52% of private renters have arranged contents insurance – meaning nearly half potentially have no cover – a survey of more than 1,000 tenants across the UK from Nationwide Building Society found.

The cover is designed to cover the cost of repair or replacement of the contents of a home if they are lost, stolen or damaged.

According to Nationwide, the contents of an average property are worth just over £25,000.

But the building society found 48% of people could be without any contents cover at all – as 22% surveyed said they had no contents cover and a further 26% did not know if they have any cover or not.

Nearly a fifth (19%) of renters mistakenly believed it was the landlord’s responsibility to arrange contents insurance. With incomes stretched, many people had put off arranging cover as a way of reducing their monthly outgoings.

The lack of awareness around home insurance cover could also leave many renters in breach of their tenancy agreements – as a third (34%) did not know if it was stipulated in their contract that contents insurance is required.

Some were also paying for buildings insurance. Nationwide said this is cover that tenants do not need, as it would be the landlord’s responsibility.

Darren Black, head of general insurance at Nationwide Building Society said: “It’s concerning that many renters don’t have contents insurance and are living under the mistaken belief that their landlord has cover in place to protect their belongings if they are lost, stolen or damaged.

“They could also be putting their tenancy at risk as many landlords stipulate that they must have cover in place as part of their tenancy agreement.

“When finances are tight, insurance can seem like an unnecessary expense, but without it you could end up losing everything you own. The majority of home insurance claims are for accidental damage, particularly at the moment when many of us are spending much more time at home. For a few pounds a month, home insurance can provide real peace of mind that you are protected should the worst happen.”