By Mary Samuelsen (MultiFamilyExecutive.com Article) — In a national poll of 1,000 renters, global risk-management provider Assurant found that most renters either don’t know or are unsure of who or what entity should be held responsible in the event of a burglary or theft, property damage, or injury at their apartment.
Nearly a third of the respondents, 32%, believed the landlord or property management company was responsible in these cases. Another 25% didn’t know.
“There’s clearly a strong disconnect in terms of renters understanding who’s responsible for damage and liability protection,” says Steve Hein, senior vice president of multifamily housing at Assurant. “This is especially worrisome given that more Americans rent now than at any point in the past 50 years [according to the Pew Research Center] and that the value of renters’ possessions continues to increase.”
According to Assurant, renters place their properties at a higher risk for burglary if they announce on social media that they’re on vacation or otherwise away from their home or apartment. Despite this risk, almost all respondents—85%—reported that they post their vacation news on social media, and well over one-third—38%—had posted about their vacations on social media while they were away.
While 41% of respondents said they had experienced theft or knew someone who had, 35% do nothing more than lock their door to prevent theft. One-quarter said they never lock up their valuables, and an additional quarter said they do so only on occasion.
Nearly half of the respondents, 45%, said they don’t have renter’s insurance, and 24% of renters without coverage reported they had never thought about getting it.
“Renters generally aren’t 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, and that includes $10,000 in coverage for belongings, $100,000 in liability coverage/replacement cost, all with only a $250 deductible,” Hein says.