If you’re a Registered Social Landlord (RSL), building and maintaining a good relationship with your residents is vitally important. One very effective way to do this is by offering low cost, pay-as-you-go Tenant’s Contents Insurance (TCI).
It is however, a challenge. Despite being statistically much more likely to suffer loss or damage to personal possessions, 61% of UK renters in low-income households have no tenants’ contents insurance1, with 58% of those saying they think it will be too expensive.
Recent research has highlighted that TCI could bridge the gap when residents suffer a loss and help prevent stress if the worst happens for them;
- Of the 61% of UK renters, one in three (33%) have had a potentially insurable loss in the last 5 years, rising to nearly half (47%) amongst 18-34-year olds
- Of these, a quarter (27%) with no contents insurance, equivalent to 250,000 people, relied on credit to replace or repair their belongings
- Seven in ten (73%) low-income renters say they would find it impossible to meet an unexpected bill of £500 without help from an external source
- Lack of contents insurance amongst low-income renters can adversely affect emotional wellbeing
Financially vulnerable residents are unable to meet the costs incurred by burglary or large-scale water or storm damage, and if they have to resort to credit, they’re potentially putting themselves in deeper debt. That’s why giving them access to the best value Tenant’s Contents Insurance (TCI) is imperative.
But which tenants contents cover offers the best value? The only real answer is to have your own independent review.
A review doesn’t have to be a highly technical or formal process. Simply take a look at the products on offer, making sure you’re comparing like for like, and take an impartial view.
So what are the key questions you need to ask?
- Comparing like for like, are you giving them access to the lowest rates available?
Money is always tight for residents, so offering low rates is essential to encourage take up. It’s easy to just renew your scheme, but then you’re not giving residents the chance to have more affordable protection.
- Do the range of covers available meet your residents’ changing needs?
Life and living are constantly evolving. Do the schemes you are comparing offer protection that is still relevant and cover (as standard) today’s items in the home and garden?
- Are your residents aware of your scheme, and can they easily apply and access the scheme?
Even the best Tenant’s Contents Insurance can only be successful if it’s taken up, and that can depend on a number of factors…
Awareness: Do the vendors of your TCI cover give you what you need to promote the scheme and its benefits?
Application: Are the schemes flexible enough to allow residents to ‘pay as you go’ via a range of payment methods, to make it easier.
- Is there any Accidental Damage (AD) cover offered as standard within your scheme?
This is really a yes or no answer. Some insurers offer some AD cover on some items as standard and some don’t.
- Does your TCI provider offer the marketing and communications support you need to encourage your tenants’ take up of your scheme?
A good TCI provider will help you drive take-up by offering a suite of brandable marketing material. The more residents you have on your scheme, the more likely they are to ‘spread the word’.
There may be other criteria for your review, but cost, cover and accessibility will be the critical factors in making Tenant’s Contents Insurance an attractive proposition for your socially-housed residents.
If you, as an RSL, don’t properly review your scheme, you could be missing an opportunity to improve things for your residents and yourselves.
To discuss any of the issues raised in this article, please contact Joelle Nixon on (0)7717 851070
1: The role and importance of home contents insurance in low-income households, Matthew Oakley of WPI Economics for Aviva, July 2019
Whilst care has been taken in the production of this article and the information contained within it has been obtained from sources that Aon UK Limited believes to be reliable, Aon UK Limited does not warrant, represent or guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or fitness for any purpose of the article or any part of it and can accept no liability for any loss incurred in any way whatsoever by any person who may rely on it. In any case any recipient shall be entirely responsible for the use to which it puts this article. This article has been compiled using information available to us up to 13/08/20.