Study shows most Texas renters don't have insurance

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A new study from Harvard University found the number of rental households jumped by about one million in 2007.

With many turning to rentals during the foreclosure crisis, an Allstate study shows most Texas renters don't have insurance and agent Terry Morgan says it's really a problem.

"Why do people not do it? They think they don't need it.  And it's just a mindset."

Morgan added that most people can't justify the cost of insurance.

"In most cases people don't think they have a lot of things they would lose in the event of a fire. But when you start figuring up what it would cost to buy new clothes and furniture, people would be amazed at the value when it comes to replacing it."

Coverage for an apartment could be as little as $150.00 a year.

Brenda White with Pecan Valley Apartments says most of her tenants don't have insurance.

"It's not required, but it's a good idea because if something happens like water damage and water gets on their clothes because of something leaking from upstairs, we don't replace their clothes. So rental insurance is good for that.  We just fix the apartment. We don't take care of anybody's stuff for any reason," says White.

Renters who want to check into insurance need to do an inventory check to estimate just how much their stuff is worth.

"They can spend as little as five minutes and come up with a value of what they need and I encourage everybody to consider that," says Morgan.

Allstate did a standard apartment review to get an average. They found a minimum household to have over 13-thousand dollars in property.  Which agents say is a lot if you had to replace everything out of pocket.

"Talk to your agent, get him to give you an idea on the price and purchase the coverage.  It's very cheap money for the amount of coverage you can get."

The standard apartment needs only $25,000 in coverage and for a home with more than one occupant, usually $50,000 will do.  Agents say if you have art collections, jewelry or expensive furniture, $100,000 may be closer to the amount you need.

Click here for a list of local agents that can help you with a rental policy. Click on inventory list to estimate your belongings.