February 21, 2010 19:00 ET

Millions of UK Renters Put Possessions at Risk Says Swinton

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Feb. 21, 2010) - Over two million* cost-cutting UK renters are putting their valuable possessions at risk by failing to take out contents insurance, according to a recent survey carried out by Swinton the UK's leading high street retailer of home insurance.

A Gfk NOP poll revealed that 38%** of renters admitted that they did not have a policy to cover their belongings compared to less than one in ten (just 9%**) of homeowners.

These statistics are particularly concerning due to the UK's rapid rental surge. Recent statistics show a substantial increase in the size of the rental sector, with private and social rentals now accounting for almost a third of households. New figures show that six out of 10 people cannot afford to move out of rented accommodation because first-time buyers are struggling to get on the housing ladder.

Steve Chelton, Insurer development manager at Swinton said: "According to recent British Crime Survey figures, burglary rates still remain quite high and are set to stay that way with the current economic climate. This makes the fact that so many renters don't have contents insurance even more worrying.

"Contents insurance isn't compulsory like buildings insurance and as a result it is often seen as non-essential by renters, especially when they have other financial priorities. We strongly recommend that people protect their possessions against theft and damage. It is important to remember that a short-term saving could prove costly in the long run."

Notes to Editors:

*(Number of UK Renters = 6.8 million 3.8 million social renters and 3.0 million private renters) Survey of English Housing Preliminary Report: 2007-08
38% of 6.8 million = 2,584,000 renters are without home contents insurance

**GfK NOP interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1002 UK adults aged 16+ on the 3rd – 5th April 2009. Research was carried out via the telephone using a quota sample, weighting has been applied to results to ensure the sample is nationally representative of UK adults aged 16+.

About Swinton

  • With 580 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK's largest high street insurance retailer
  • Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the community
  • Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance
  • With a dedicated team of advisors on hand at every branch to search a panel of insurers to offer quality cover at competitive rates

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