New report highlights benefits of rental insurance

A new report published by the Centre for Policy Studies has found that the average renter loses over £300 per tenancy due to lost interest and inflation because of participation in the existing deposit protection schemes.

Following recent polling which showed that 43 per cent of renters would support a system of deposit replacement insurance with a small cost rather than the current system of tenants paying large upfront deposits, the think tank has called for an alternative to help ‘Generation Rent’.

Down With Deposits: The Case for Rental Insurance proposes that the government should promote a deposit replacement insurance system as an alternative to paying large, up-front deposits. This would allow renters to insure against potential damage or missed rent payments without having to find a large up-front deposit, which is currently estimated to average £1,041.

The YouGov polling showed that tenants would prefer, by 43 per cent to 41 per cent, an insurance scheme to the current deposit system, which would enable them to retain more of their own money when moving into a property, enjoy the interest accruing during their tenancy, and avoid borrowing from friends, family, or pay-day lenders to gather enough funds for a deposit.

Robert Colvile, director of the Centre for Policy Studies, said: “This government have a real opportunity to rectify the damage done by Labour to the rental market. By endorsing an insurance-based model as an alternative to a rental deposit, the government would rectify an unfair system which polling shows is unpopular with hard-pressed tenants.”

Brian Sturgess, author of ‘Down with Deposits’, said: “Currently many people are simply unable to enter the rental market due to the need for a large upfront deposit to be provided before they move in. The proposals in this report offer a solution to the inherent unfairness of renters losing out on the interest they would have accrued on such a deposit, and often having to struggle to get their money back at all.”