Under one in ten private renters has home contents insurance

Millions of private tenants risk losing their valuables and essential property as they fail to take out contents insurance, protecting them against damages, loss and theft.

New data from the comparison website GoCompare shows that just 7 per cent of contents insurance quotes are for customers privately renting homes.

Approximately one in five UK households currently live in the private rented sector (4.5million families), yet only 315,000 of these take out contents cover. That means that more than 4 million households are not insured should any of their belongings get damaged, lost or stolen.

In comparison, the data shows that more than half (56 per cent) of the proportion of GoCompare customers who requested a contents insurance quote were mortgaged homeowners, while 36 per cent of homeowners requiring a quote had already paid off their mortgage.

Landlords who rent their accommodation can take out landlord insurance for their properties, which offers building’s insurance, and can take out additional contents insurance for white goods and fixtures and fittings, but this will not cover the tenants’ belongings.

Contents insurance covers all of a policy holder’s belongings, that includes anything that isn’t fixed down permanently. It can also include accidental damage cover, as well as specific items such as jewellery or tech.

Ryan Fulthorpe, from GoCompare home insurance, said: “We know that the private rental market is growing quickly, and more people are choosing to rent rather than buy homes due to the current surge in house prices, but this data is concerning.

“A lot of those in private rental accommodation are leaving themselves open to being majorly out of pocket should they be burgled or have an accident with one of their high value items. Landlords take out insurance to cover the contents of a property, but not a tenant’s property, that is their responsibility.”

Ryan added: “It’s worrying to think that so many families living in rented accommodation are leaving themselves open to losing possibly thousands of pounds if the worst happened, as well as to cover those high value items away from home – as many contents insurance policies offer some form of cover if an item is lost away from the property.

“Premiums can be as little as £137.50 a year, meaning tenants will have the peace of mind that they have protected their worldly goods, without too much of a dent on their pockets.”

By Patrick Mooney, Editor