Online Staff Report
Only 29 percent of Hispanics who rent their homes report having renters insurance, according to a new survey by State Farm. In fact, among respondents without renters insurance, more than one-third (34 percent) said they had never heard of renters insurance. Further, most overestimated the cost of coverage and underestimated the value of their property. Not having renters insurance could leave Hispanic families vulnerable to a financial catastrophe, especially during the holiday season.
The study of more than 500 renters was designed to gauge awareness and understanding of renters insurance in the Hispanic community. Results indicated that almost half (43 percent) of survey respondents without renters insurance think they cannot afford it. However, 88 percent of respondents overestimated what a typical renters policy costs per month, with more than half thinking it costs $50 or more a month, when in many cases renters insurance can cost as little as $12 a month.
“There seem to be some misconceptions when it comes to renters insurance,” said Stephanie Colegrove, operations vice president — underwriting for State Farm. “We want everyone to know that if their possessions are stolen during a break-in, or damaged by a fire or another covered loss, a renters insurance policy can help them replace their valuables.”
More than 50 percent of respondents also believe their belongings are worth less than $10,000. In fact, personal belongings — including clothes, furniture and electronics — can cost much more to replace. Replacing those belongings could create a significant financial burden.
According to a 2013 State of Hispanic Homeownership report, the number of Hispanic households has grown from 9.2 million in 2000 to 14.7 million in 2013. This includes both owner-households and renter-households , representing a growth rate of 60 percent with Hispanic households representing more than half of all renters The State of the Nation’s Housing 2014 by The Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University (http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/sites/jchs.harvard.edu/files/sonhr14-color-full.pdf). As more Hispanic families rent their primary residences, understanding the benefit of having renters insurance will become increasingly important.
Renters insurance can be a great gift for the family this holiday, providing the security of being able to recover from the unexpected. For more about the misconceptions about renters insurance, go to statefarm.com.
Posted Dec. 19, 2014