BETHLEHEM, Pa., April 28, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller today began a new campaign to encourage more tenants to purchase renters insurance, as part of the Insurance Department's continuing consumer education and protection efforts.
"A 2015 Insurance Information Institute poll found 95 percent of homeowners had homeowners insurance, but only 40 percent of people renting had renters insurance. This inexpensive coverage can protect individuals' and families' important possessions, and their financial well-being," Commissioner Miller said.
Commissioner Miller spoke at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, where she announced a newly designed flier aimed particularly at a younger adult market. She noted a recent analysis of U.S. Census statistics by the National Multifamily Housing Council found 51 percent of people living in rental housing are under age 30.
"No one can predict the future and being prepared for the unexpected is simply the smart thing to do. Renters insurance provides peace of mind that your property is insured against theft and catastrophic loss. I strongly encourage all renters to invest in this low cost protection," said Ozzie Breiner, Director of Residential Services for Lehigh University. Lehigh has posted the new flier on its website.
The flier, available on the Insurance Department's website here, succinctly lists important reasons to get this coverage. These include:
- A landlord's homeowners insurance does not cover a tenant's belongings;
- A policy usually only covers the person named, not roommates;
- A policy can begin anytime, regardless of when the lease was signed;
- Some policies cover personal items, such as a laptop, if it is stolen while outside the apartment;
- Some policies also cover lost luggage while traveling;
- Most policies cost only $20 to $30 a month;
- Many insurance companies allow "bundling" of renters insurance with other policies, such as auto, making it even less expensive.
"Many people may not realize how inexpensive renters insurance is. When you consider the cost of replacing possessions such as clothing, electronics, and furniture, renters insurance is a real bargain," Commissioner Miller said.
Commissioner Miller also thanked Lehigh University for making the renters insurance flier available to its students, and the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce's Young Professionals Council for making the filer available to its members.
"While property protection is an important feature of a renters policy, perhaps a more important feature is that it protects you from liability claims that arise when you are blamed for causing injury to others or damaging their property," said Ryan Oestreich, an insurance professional and member of the Young Professionals Council of the Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. The YPC is emailing the renters insurance information to members, and making the flier available on its social media pages.
In addition to young adults who are living on their own for the first time, more families are renting. The U.S. Census Bureau reports U.S. homeownership dropped to 63.4 percent in 2015, its lowest level since 1967.
"As a landlord, I have experienced the tragedy of a tenant who let his renters insurance lapse, then lost his possessions in a fire. Not only did this person suffer tremendous financial loss from the destruction of what he owned, because of the cost of replacing his personal belongings, he was unable to maintain rent payments, ultimately losing a newly renovated apartment," said Frank Nestore, president of Diversified Investor Group, which represents landlords in eastern Pennsylvania. "In addition, landlords can suffer significant financial loss when a disaster strikes an uninsured tenant's apartment. This can lead to both economic loss for the landlord, and to fewer housing opportunities for tenants."
"Whether you're a young, single person starting your career, or a family, not having renters insurance risks losing your valuable possessions to a fire, robbery, or other incident. Such a financial loss can be a setback from which it could take many years to recover," Commissioner Miller said.
MEDIA CONTACT: Ron Ruman, 717-787-3289
SOURCE Pennsylvania Insurance Department