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Rent.com: Many Renters Lax on Maintenance, Security, Insurance

Written by on Tuesday, 26 March 2013 7:00 pm
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March was National Maintenance Month, but it's not too late to hammer home the point - it's never too late to make sure your home is safe and well protected.

That's especially true for renters.

Rent.com conducted a survey of 1,000 renters nationwide and found many renters aren't with it when it comes to general maintenance, emergency preparedness and rental insurance.

They also exhibit some conflicting believes about what they need to do to prepare for the worst.

Here's what Rent.com found:

Maintenance

As renters age, there is a general decline in the frequency of performing maintenance chores, including changing smoke alarm batters, checking locks, windows and lighting and updating emergency plans.

  • Among renters 18-24 years of age, 27 percent are on top of their apartment safety and conduct maintenance once a month. Also, 25 percent do it every three months.

    Unfortunately, 21 percent of 18-24 year old renters weren't aware they were supposed to perform maintenance.

  • Among renters aged 45-64 years of age, 30 percent of them perform maintenance twice a year and 30 percent of renters aged 65 and older perform it only once a year.

    Emergency Plans

  • Among renters, 35 percent have no plan for safety in case of an emergency. Those who do, 54 percent, are more focused on a fire emergency than other emergency situations.

  • The highest level of emergency preparedness, 38 percent, was found among renters 45-64 years old and those who live in the earthquake prone west, 38 percent.

  • Among Midwesterners, who face tornadoes and droughts, 36 percent are prepared for a natural disaster.

    Insurance

    The insurance findings were particularly surprising: More than 55 percent of renters do not feel safe and prepared in and around their apartment, but 60 percent of them don't have renter's insurance .

  • Among uninsured renters, 60 percent say they don't carry coverage because it's too expensive. However, the National Association of Insurance Companies says the average premium payment is just $15.75 a month.

    Coverage is cheap for renters because the coverage doesn't protect the structure, which is insured by the property owner. Renters coverage, along with liability coverage, primarily covers possessions - that $2,000 big screen LED 3D TV, the smartphone, the laptop, clothes, furniture and other prized belongings.

    Rent.com says the cost of insurance is:

  • Less than the approximately $80 a month 50 percent of the American workforce spends buying coffee.

  • Less than the approximately $148 a month 66 percent of American workers pay for lunch.

  • Less than the cost of two movie tickets, at the national average of about $8 each.

    Other renters who don't carry insurance say they don't understand it or don't think it's important.

    However, 25 percent of renters who had to use their renter's insurance found it helpful when needed and the majority of respondents said that it helped to replace lost items or provided reimbursement.

    Every renter in the 18-24 years old and 65 and older age groups, who had to use their insurance, found it helpful.

    Renters exhibit mild signs of cognitive dissonance

    The Rent.com survey also revealed some renters have some conflicting beliefs and behaviors about safety.

    When renters concerns were compared with safety plans to address those concerns, renters were most concerned about incidences for which they failed to prepare.

  • Twenty percent of renters said they were most concerned with theft and break-ins, but only 31 percent of renters have a plan of action for theft and break-ins.

  • Eighteen percent were most concerned with weather-related and other natural disasters, but only 32 percent of renters have a plan in place to manage such a disaster.

  • Only 12 percent were most worried about a fire, but more than 50 percent of renters have a plan in place to deal with a fire emergency.

  • More than 55 percent of renters do not feel that they are safe and prepared in and around their apartment, but only 40 percent of renters have renter's insurance.

    Peruse or mouse over and click the infographic below to learn more about renters.

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      About the author, Broderick Perkins

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