Half of renters don’t have contents insurance

15th May 2024

Almost half of renters in the UK (49%) do not have a contents insurance policy, according to new research from Compare the Market. In comparison, only 11% of homeowners don’t have contents cover.

The main reason renters don’t have contents insurance is to save money, due to their other living costs (30%). Other reasons include renters not being able to afford the insurance, which is not legally required (28%), and renters not deeming their contents valuable enough to need insurance (20%).

Of those with a contents insurance policy, almost half of renters (41%) have it for their peace of mind, while others indicate they purchased a policy because they see the value of the protection (39%), or they have specific valuable items that they want to insure (21%). More than one in four (27%) bought contents insurance because a friend or family member recommended it.

While nearly half of renters (49%) indicate they have never had a personal item stolen, lost or damaged, many renters unfortunately do recall such incidents. The table below shows the most common items stolen, lost or damaged while living in a rented property.

Fortunately, the majority of renters (81%) who have had something lost, stolen, or damaged said that some, if not all, of those possessions were covered by contents insurance. On average, the personal possessions in question were valued at £888.

Despite most renters generally understanding what contents insurance is, how it works and what it covers – only one in three people (39%) admit they fully understand the nuances of their cover.

Helen Phipps, Home Insurance Expert at Compare the Market, said “It’s encouraging that most renters recognise the importance of contents insurance. However, due to expensive living costs, many are trying to save money by not taking a policy out. For people in a financial position to do so, purchasing this insurance could help you avoid the substantial cost of replacing possessions. It typically covers your personal belongings, should you be subject to events such as theft or damage. Contents policies may also include tenants’ liability cover which offers financial protection if you accidentally damage anything that belongs to your landlord, such as carpets or furniture.”

“We’d encourage renters to compare different levels of cover and prices before purchasing a policy. It’s also a good idea to encourage any friends or family members who rent to consider looking for contents cover to ensure they have protection for their possessions.”

Item Stolen/Lost/Damaged in a Rented Property Percentage
Mobile phone 18%
Laptop 15%
TV 14%
Jewellery 12%
Wallet/cash/credit or debit cards 10%