Study: 41% of renters don't have home insurance

Renting can often make for complicated business. Lots of renters shuffle in and out of new places on a frequent basis. In many cases they're moving in with roommates they either don't know very well or perhaps have zero prior history with.

With all of that hanging over everything, it would naturally make sense for renters to cover their bases and insure their leased property. In practice though, it turns out it's been pretty much the opposite.

A new study from the Toronto-based insurer Square One has produced some telling findings regarding renters, home insurance, and roommate frequencies. Its study was based on data compiled by surveying over 1,500 renters in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. The biggest takeaway is that 41% of renters in Canada don't have home insurance. That statistic plummets to 5% when it is applied to homeowners instead. So to put it this way, homeowners are eight times as likely as renters to purchase insurance for the property they are living in.

That number shouldn't come as a huge surprise though. Although home insurance isn't mandatory in Canada, the majority of mortgage lenders will insist on their borrower having it. Landlords are less likely to put forth that same type of insistence.

Yet the days of large percentages of the renting population not taking out a home insurance policy may be coming to an end. Square One said it commissioned this study in the first place because it noticed an increased number of renters with roommates coming to it for policies.

The roommate-focused portion of the study helps shed some light on the big picture as well. It produced data showing that 30% of Canada's renters who have roommates are living with people they are not related to. The primary reasons for having one or more roommates were a mixture of having help with rent (63%), companionship (35%), and added security (7%).

Those who responded with "added security" were probably answering with physical safety in mind, but it's the other type of security that could likely end up mattering more in a renting situation: home insurance.

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