Most Renters Uncertain of Who’s Responsible for Theft, Property Damage or Injury, According to Assurant Survey

News Release

  • Over half (57 percent) of renters think landlords or property management companies are responsible – or aren’t sure who’s responsible – for burglary/theft or property damage
  • Nearly 40 percent of renters put valuables at risk by posting their vacation status on social media while out of town

NEW YORK, NY – June 14, 2018 – In a rented house or apartment, who is responsible in the event of burglary/theft or property damage from a fire, weather or neighbors’ negligence? According to a new survey by global risk solutions provider Assurant, most U.S. renters either don’t know or aren’t sure – with a majority saying they think someone else is responsible.

Assurant’s national poll of 1,000 renters showed nearly one-third of respondents (32%) thought either the landlord or the property management company should be responsible for damage and liability protection, while an additional 25% admitted they were “not sure” who’s responsible.

“There’s clearly a strong disconnect in terms of renters understanding who’s responsible for damage and liability protection,” said Steve Hein, Senior Vice President of Multifamily Housing Sales at Assurant. “This is especially worrisome given that more Americans rent now than at any point in the past 50 years[i] and the value of renters’ possessions continues to increase.”  

No Protection

According to the survey, nearly half of respondents (45%) said they did not have renter’s insurance. Of those without coverage, about one-quarter (24%) said they had never even thought about getting it.

“Renters generally are not well protected against risks of liability or damage, which is unfortunate because the cost of repairing damage, paying hospital bills or replacing stolen items is often much higher than the cost of protection. We don’t think many people realize  how inexpensive a renter’s policy is – the average annual cost is only $160 a year, and that includes $10,000 in coverage for belongings, $100K in liability coverage, replacement cost all with only a $250 deductible,” commented Hein.

“I’m out of town!”

As vacation season approaches, it seems like common sense to avoid posting vacation plans via social media while out of town—which can create an opportunity for burglary when an apartment or house is empty. However, Assurant’s survey found that, of the 85% of Americans who post their vacation news on social media, well over one-third (38%) do so while they are away

The survey also found that, in addition to sharing their vacation plans on social media, few renters take precautions to prevent a robbery. Despite 41% of renters experiencing or knowing someone who has experienced a theft, the survey found that more than a third (35%) do nothing more than locking the door to prevent theft.

Valuable and Vulnerable

While most people do in fact lock their doors, one-quarter of respondents never lock up their valuables and an additional quarter only do so on occasion.

Assurant’s survey showed that renters consider electronics to be their most valuable items and the most likely to be stolen in a robbery (57% and 62%, respectively), while only 29%  deemed jewelry most likely to be stolen.

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About Assurant

Assurant, Inc. (NYSE: AIZ) is a global provider of risk management solutions, protecting where consumers live and the goods they buy. A Fortune 500 company, Assurant focuses on the housing and lifestyle markets, and is among the market leaders in mobile device protection and related services; extended service contracts; vehicle protection; pre-funded funeral insurance; renters insurance; lender-placed homeowners insurance; and mortgage valuation and field services. With approximately $32 billion in assets as of December 31, 2017 and $6 billion in 2017 revenue, Assurant operates in 16 countries, while its Assurant Foundation works to support and improve communities. Learn more at Assurant.com or on Twitter @AssurantNews.



[i] Pew Research.

 


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