The £50 billion rental insurance gap
- Two fifths (43 per cent) of those in rented accommodation do not have contents insurance to protect their personal possessions
- Nearly a third (29 per cent) of people renting mistakenly believe their possessions are covered by a landlord's buildings insurance policy
- The average value of contents uninsured in UK rental properties is £7,000
New research from Direct Line Home Insurance1 reveals that almost £50 billion2 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 policy3 (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).
Table one: Average value of renter's contents broken down by item
|Item||Average value of items in each category|
|Other high value items (e.g. bike)||£767.47|
|Total UK average contents||£6,956.32|
Source: Direct Line Home Insurance 2018
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.
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.
Discounts: Get 20% off when you buy online at https://www.directline.com/home-cover/contents-insurance5
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.4
For more information about Direct Line contents insurance visit
Notes to Editors
1 Research completed by Opinium Research among 2,005 UK adults aged 18+ between 9th and 11th October 2018
2 Of the 16.8 million adults (32 per cent) who live in rented accommodation, over two fifths (43 per cent) do not have contents in 50,231,103,28
3 Students are covered under their parent's contents insurance policy as standard for up to £5,000 with Direct Line Home Insurance and £10,000 with Direct Line Home Plus for the loss or damage of their contents in student accommodation at university, college or boarding school; including but not limited to; gadgets and electrical items, books and clothing.
4 Protection provided only when more than a 50% chance of recovery
5 Introductory cover, minimum premiums apply. Excludes optional extras/covers. Excludes SELECT Premier
For further information please contact:
Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel, pet and life insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.
Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.
Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0345 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com/home-cover