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Six in Ten Renters Lack Renter’s Insurance

Most Overestimate Cost of Coverage by Hundreds of Dollars

SAN FRANCISCO – February 11, 2015 – Six in 10 Americans who rent their homes or apartments do not have renter’s insurance, according to a new survey by Thirty-seven percent of renters have renter’s insurance and four percent do not know if they have it.

Forty-five percent of Americans say they lack renter’s insurance because it is too expensive. But a whopping 84% of Americans don’t know how much it costs or think it’s more expensive than it is. Seventy-one percent of Americans think renter’s insurance costs more than $250 per year, with 22% of that group pegging the costs at $1,000 per year or more. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the average cost is actually just $187 per year.

“Many Americans don’t realize that they could be on the hook for potentially thousands of dollars if they go without renter’s insurance,” said Laura Adams, senior analyst.

Other popular reasons for not having renter’s insurance include:

  • Apartment/rental home has good security (59%)
  • Landlord has insurance (43%)
  • Don’t have enough property to insure (42%)
  • Don’t understand how renter’s insurance works (27%)
  • Don’t know where to get renter’s insurance (20%)

“Landlord’s insurance typically doesn’t cover renters’ belongings. And even in a highly secure area, theft, fire, and water damage and other accidents can still occur and are costly expenses to pay for out-of-pocket. Renter’s insurance is an inexpensive financial safety net that every renter should have. 

Additional Findings:

  • Millennials are the most likely of all age groups to say they don’t understand how renter’s insurance works and they don’t know where to get insured
  • 79% of Americans don’t know that renter’s insurance covers personal property stolen from outside of the rental home
  • In February 2013, 34% of renter’s had renter’s insurance, while 62% didn’t have it and 3% didn’t know if they had it

The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International (PSRAI) and can be seen in its entirety here:


PSRAI obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 2,003 adults living in the continental United States. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (1,001) and cell phone (1,002, including 574 without a landline phone). Interviews were done in English by Princeton Data Source from January 8-11 and January 22-25, 2015. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.

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Caroline Farhat

Senior Publicist

(917) 368-8638