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Guidewire Survey Shows Opportunity for Insurers to Work with Generation Rent

Staff Writer | March 17, 2017

Guidewire Software announces findings from a survey of Generation Rent, defined as young adults ages 20 to 30, who cannot afford their own homes and for whom rented accommodations is the only option. Generation Rent is not adequately clued about insurance and the majority do not have insurance, or even know if their landlord is insured.

These are key findings identified in a survey commissioned by Guidewire to help insurers understand better, and respond to how this demographic group think about protecting themselves and their possessions in rented accommodation. Guidewire’s survey involved 1,000 renters from across the UK, and was conducted by OnePoll in 2016.

The UK will become a nation of renters rather than homeowners by 2025, according to PwC, but the majority (60 percent) of today’s renters aged 20-30 do not insure the contents of their homes, despite 55 percent saying they had incurred a loss while uninsured.

For Generation Rent, it seems the insurance habit is hard to trigger with 60 percent of those who had suffered a loss saying this did not make them buy insurance. In fact, Generation Rent does not have a strong connection with the insurance industry. When asked if they felt insurers understood their needs as renters and offer the right products, almost 28 percent said no, while the majority (42 percent) did not know.   

The research also shows a lack of knowledge among renters about their rights and the responsibilities of their landlords. Sixty-five percent were unclear about whether their landlord had building insurance to protect their home and 28 percent said they would not stop renting if they found out that their landlord did not have coverage.

However, the research clearly shows that Generation Rent is interested in the benefits insurance can bring, if presented in the right way by insurance providers, and they can see value for money. While cost was the number one factor in not buying contents insurance, Generation Rent is not wholly cynical about the value of insurance, with more (48 percent) disagreeing than agreeing (22 percent) with the statement that, “Buying insurance is throwing your money away.”

Not surprisingly, they were keen to have the ability to make claims and manage policies online themselves (83 percent), but they also appreciated human-interaction (82 percent). In terms of policy innovations, the research suggests that online photo inventories and smart-home monitoring to prevent home emergencies are the most popular insurance ideas for the future.

“We are becoming a nation of renters and this is beginning to be reflected in the way we buy insurance,” says Keith Stonell, managing director, EMEA, Guidewire Software. “The young adults of Generation Rent are demanding flexible policies, that reflect their changing living circumstances, and they will look for an insurance provider that can understand them, show value through their insurance products, and support their individual needs.”

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