New research from Direct Line Home Insurance reveals that almost £50 billion of home contents across the UK are not insured. In fact, with nearly 17 million (32 per cent) adults living in rented accommodation in the UK, 43 per cent (seven million people) do not have home contents insurance.
The main reason behind this is confusion amongst renters, who believe that their contents are covered by another insurance policy (36 per cent). The most common mistake is that renters think they are covered by their landlord’s buildings insurance policy (29 per cent), followed by another insurance policy from the landlord (26 per cent) or their parents’ home insurance policy (19 per cent).
Whilst renters might be shocked to learn they are not covered under their landlords’ policies, if their home was affected by a fire, flood or if they were victim of a burglary, their contents would be at risk, leaving them to face a huge bill to replace their belongings (on average nearly £7,000).
The highest value items that renters would need to replace are furniture, with the average household in the UK owning furniture worth around £1,621, followed by electronic (£1,342) and kitchen items (£919).
Jeremy Bristow, Head of Home Insurance at Direct Line, commented: “This research shows the true scale of the lack of insurance amongst the rental market in the UK, with over seven million renters leaving themselves at risk of losing their personal belongings and facing a huge bill at what is already an incredibly stressful time.
“No matter whether you are living in rented accommodation or if you own your property, it is important to ensure that you have the appropriate home contents and personal possessions cover in place, so that you are not left out of pocket if the worst does happen.”
Although one in seven renters (15 per cent) have had contents insurance in the past, over a quarter (28 per cent) have never had it. Young people are the most vulnerable, with half of 18-34-year olds living in rented accommodation (50 per cent) not insuring their contents, compared to just a third (32 per cent) of those over 55.
Contents insurance explained:
Simply put, if you turn your house upside down, everything that would fall out would be considered as your home contents and covered under a home contents insurance policy. Anything that would remain in your home would then be considered structural and would be covered by your home buildings insurance.
Personal possessions cover explained:
Personal possessions cover is an optional extra when purchasing home insurance and provides cover for your family’s belongings when they are away from home and for up to 60 days a year whilst they are abroad.
Accidental damage cover explained:
Accidental damage cover is an optional extra when purchasing home insurance and provides cover for unexpected accidents which happen in your home, such as; spillages on the carpet, breakages around the house or accidentally drilling through hidden pipes.
Family legal protection explained:
Family legal protection is an optional extra when purchasing home insurance and provides up to £100,000 cover for claims including contract disputes, personal injury and motoring prosecution.