96% of Renters Have No Debt ‘Bail Out’ Mechanism, Warns British Insurance

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According to independent Payment Protection Insurance provider, British Insurance, 96% of people renting properties* do not have a ‘bail out’ policy to prevent their debts spiralling out of control if they lose their salary.

Soaring rental costs and plummeting levels of disposable income have slashed peoples’ savings pots, leaving them more reliant on State benefits to pay their bills if redundancy, an accident or sickness occurs. The average rent in England and Wales is £696** and in a move not seen since the 1870s, energy, food and petrol prices have outflanked earnings for four years running***.

Despite these pressures, British Insurance finds renters are more blasé about their employment and financial situation than workers paying a mortgage. Only 47% are worried about future job losses, compared to 63% buying their home, and over a third, 34%, are happy to draw upon State benefits to cover costs, as opposed to 25% of mortgage-payers.

Nel Mooy, Managing Director, British Insurance, attributes the low take-up of PPI to lack of awareness. She comments: “Tenants do not tend to discuss with their landlords how they’re going to pay their rent if a salary goes, whereas those taking out a mortgage have to consider how to ensure continuity of mortgage payments - perhaps this is why 22% of them have PPI.”

“Similarly, tenants perceive the risks associated with rent default to be lower. However, the impact of losing your home is just as great, whether you’re buying or renting.”

Respondents cited; savings, family support, State benefits, credit cards and the Lottery as the main five providers of income in the event of redundancy. However, in Nel’s view, these sources are unsustainable, particularly if out of work for a period of time.

She concludes: “PPI provides tax-free payments for up to a year so whether you’re renting or buying, it’s worth considering whether this type of policy is right for you. Most providers explain what is and isn’t covered, so shop around and compare costs. It could make the difference between losing and keeping your home.”

To view its product range visit http://www.britishinsurance.com

Note to Editors

  • Survey undertaken by TNS Omnibus- 665 16-64 year-old full or part-time workers were questioned online from 5 – 7 April 2011.

**According to LSL Property Services, May rental costs.

***According to Roger Bootle, economist, former Government adviser and now adviser to Deloittes.

British Insurance is a widely-recognised consumer champion and one of the UK’s leading independent providers of Payment Protection Insurance. It is a trading name of Towergate Underwriting Group Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

British Insurance has a Linked In profile at http://www.linkedin.com/company/british-insurance

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Emma Andrews
British Insurance
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Francesca Breeze

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