Unawareness of tenants' liability insurance putting vast majority of renters at risk

Property Reporter
7th April 2022

An overwhelming majority of renters continue to be acutely vulnerable to financial loss due to being oblivious to tenants’ liability insurance.

New YouGov research commissioned by Paymentshield has revealed that 46% of renters polled didn't have a contents insurance policy in place. Of that group, 90% admit to not knowing what tenants’ liability insurance – which offers protection against damage to the landlord’s property or belongings – is, with 60% admitting that they’ve never heard of it.

The findings are particularly alarming, especially given the scale of penalties renters face if landlords’ belongings are damaged at the end of their lease. The UK Government’s latest English Private Landlord Survey revealed that only 60% of landlords and 54% of agents return the full deposit to the tenant when the tenancy ends. Of those that do not return in full, 65% of landlords and 60% of agents say this is due to damage to the property and its contents.

Rana Ali, Paymentshield’s director of distribution, comments: “Leasing a property involves paying an often-hefty security deposit which is not guaranteed to be returned – at least in full – if the landlord’s belongings are damaged at the end of the tenancy. We also know that demand for furnished properties, already making up nearly a third of all rented properties, continues to grow and the potential costs of damaging the landlord’s belonging for these renters could be significant.

“Our latest research demonstrates that many leaseholders continue to be unaware of the merits of tenants liability insurance and therefore highly exposed to financial loss. Every single renter in the UK should have tenants’ liability as the absolute minimum protection, and we want to encourage an industry-wide effort to echo this message. That’s why we’ve specifically designed landlord and tenant modules on our freely accessible CPD hub, GI Academy – to help support advisers to better understand tenants’ needs and more effectively communicate to this cohort the long-term value of tenants’ liability insurance.”

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