Survey: Less than half have renters insurance
More than half of all college-aged renters in Virginia report owning electronics, computers, furnishings and clothing valued between $10,000 to $50,000. Yet only 46 of Virginia renters percent of these renters say they have renters insurance to cover their belongings, according to a new survey commissioned by Allstate Insurance Company released today.
Sadly, if the rental home was damaged or destroyed, 42 percent of all Virginia college-aged renters said they would only be able to afford to replace a few belongings.
In perhaps the best illustration of misplaced priorities, 27 percent of respondents reported spending $100-250 on clothes during any given month, which is roughly what renters insurance costs for an entire year.
“The data suggests to me that people aren’t thinking past the purchase,” said Dave Prendergast, field vice president of the Capital Region for Allstate Insurance Company. “It’s a shame because renters insurance is one of the smartest investments renters can make to protect their property and yet so few take advantage of this inexpensive protection.”
A Bureau of Justice Statistics survey of households shows renters are 50 percent more likely to be burglarized than homeowners. This is yet another sobering reminder of how precarious the situation is for so many Americans opting to go without renters coverage.
The need for education is clear: more than one-quarter of the national respondents believed renters insurance to be as much as 10 to 15 times higher than the actual national average of $16 per month. Overall, 57 percent of respondents had misperceptions about the true cost of renters insurance.
To underscore how education helps to address this current trend, 35 percent of Virginia renters without renters insurance at the outset, expressed interest in buying insurance once they learned basic information about the coverage.
In other findings from the survey:
. 98 percent of college-aged renters own computers; 83 percent own DVD Blue Ray Players; 83 percent own a digital or video camera; 80 percent own an iPod or MP3 player, yet only 43 percent of renters report owning a fire extinguisher.
. Two-thirds of Virginia’s college-age renters mistakenly believe that auto insurance will cover items stolen from a car at their rental home (in fact, those items would be covered under renters insurance).
. Three-fourths of Virginia renters have not documented or made a record of their possessions.