Despite the fact that young millennials are now renting in unprecedented numbers, fewer than half actually have renters insurance. And while many cite cost as their primary reason for foregoing coverage, a recent survey from Nationwide Insurance reveals that roughly 75% of uninsured renters don’t have an accurate view of what renters insurance costs and what it provides.
“It’s clear that there’s a misconception among millennials about the importance of renters insurance and how much it really costs,” said Matt Jauchius, Nationwide’s chief marketing officer. “For the $20 renters spend on items such as coffee and streaming video, they can get excellent coverage to help protect their belongings. Considering renters share many of the same risks as homeowners, it’s not only important; it’s a no-brainer.”
The Nationwide survey further reveals that about one in three renters don’t know that party mishaps are covered under renters insurance and another 40% don’t realize insurance may cover their stolen property.
Mark Carrasquillo, an account executive with EG Bowman in New York City, is not particularly surprised at the numbers. In fact, his biggest shock when looking at the numbers is that 44% of millennials have any form of renters coverage at all.
“Every generation has millennials, so to speak,” Carrasquillo said. “At one point in time, we were all in our 20s, just out of college or the service, and we found ourselves in the workplace and not making a lot of money. If it weren’t for a family support group, you weren’t going to purchase renters insurance.”
Carrasquillo said that in his many years of selling renters insurance policies, the majority of purchasers are not young people themselves, but their parents. In fact, he ventured to guess that of the 44% of millennials with renters insurance, most are having their policies paid by Mom and Dad.
“It’s actually parents who have the wherewithal to say, ‘Look, you’re not moving to the big city without this,’” he said. “Of the many conversations on renters insurance I’ve had over the years, most have been with parents—not the person renting the property.”
In pitching renters insurance to millennials, Carrasquillo says it’s vital to discuss the relative affordability of the coverage and its importance.
“You’d be surprised what you can afford,” he said. “You have to prioritize, and this is something that should be included in the budget. The happy hours with your frat brothers and sorority sisters have to stop.”
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