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Renter’s insurance: facts and figures

Renter’s insurance: facts and figures

The United States is currently home to more renters than at any time in the past 19 years. The turbulent real estate market turned many homeowners into renters; these days just 65 percent of U.S. residents own their homes, and it’s the lowest percentage since 1995, according to U.S. Census Bureau.

The number of renters continues to increase: based on an April 2013 U.S. Census Report, the share of housing occupied by renters has reached 35.4 percent in 2013, up from 34.1 percent in 2009. Some of the biggest cities have more renters than homeowners: New York City, 69 percent of households rent their homes, followed by Los Angeles (61.8 percent), Chicago (55.1 percent) and Houston (54.6 percent). The demographics of renters have changed also; most of the renters are young adults, 72 percent of those living in rental housing are under 30 years old or younger, according to a study conducted by the National Multi Housing Council.

If 96 percent of homeowners have their properties ensured, among the renters only 35 percent confirmed to have renter’s insurance. However, a slight increase can be noticed since 2011 when only 29 percent had the policy; 8.9 million renters’ policies have been signed in 2009, up 9 percent the next year to 9.7 million. Still, why such a low percentage?

Probably the most common reason is the fact that consumers don’t really know how it works. Secondly, it isn’t required by the law, like the auto insurance is, or by mortgage lenders, like the homeowner’s insurance typically is.

The most painful insurance problem surfaced post-Hurricane Sandy when a large number of renters didn’t have coverage for their homes. Moreover, today’s renters have more belongings than ever before. Industry experts estimated for the past decade that the average renter typically owns $20,000 worth of possessions; these days this number is higher, they believe.

The encouraging news about the renters insurance is that it is relatively inexpensive – it can be as little as 43 cents/day, charged monthly or annually, depending on the policy and the insurer. Unlike five years ago, if an incident happens and a claim needs to be filled, most companies now allow to start the filling process online.

Prioritize your worries; your possessions should be among the top thoughts, easily to put to rest through renters insurance.