Ah, the great political divide, Republican vs Democrat. Their views differ on gun control, foreign policy, and abortion, but we all already knew that. What we here at Effective Coverage wanted to know was their stance on renters insurance. That’s why we partnered with ORC International to conduct a study that would answer our question: Who is more likely to have renters insurance, Republicans or Democrats?
The nation’s intense political climate is what sparked our curiosity to see which party was more apt to invest in renters insurance. We wanted to see who cared more about protecting themselves as well as the gamut of other things renters insurance covers.
When it comes to insurance the parties are divided. Democrats believe that everyone deserves a safety net while Republicans are more focused on “personal responsibility.” Our hypothesis was that more Republicans would have renters insurance because of the focus on personal responsibility, and because they wouldn’t want to take advantage of charity or government assistance after a devastating loss.
The national study included six hundred and twenty six participants from various demographic and economic backgrounds. Participants varied in education level, employment status, number of children, along with other groupings. After taking a look at political affiliations and their correlation to having renters insurance, here is what we found.
Of the people belonging to the Republican party 53% had renters insurance. That’s 6% more than the covered 47% of those identifying as Democrats. The study also included people identifying with other parties or none at all. It showed their participation rate in renters insurance at 45%, 7% less than Republicans.
So what does this mean?
It seems that our hypothesis about Republicans being more likely to have renters insurance was correct.
However, it’s worth noting that certain demographic groups skew heavily towards the Democratic side. For example, the working poor. We’ve noted in other studies that those not be able to recover from a devastating loss are the ones least likely to have a policy.
Take into consideration that Republicans are often found in heavily conservative states. There is often a correlation between a state skewing conservative and the particular regulations placed on the insurance industry.
For example, in Texas, insurance companies have more leeway to write policy forms that meet the needs of the their policyholders than in some other states. This means more freedom to pay for the exact coverage you want.
On the other hand, in those same conservative states, renters find themselves at the company’s mercy for the same regulatory reasons. Companies can charge whatever rate they want, and weigh economic factors such as the credit score of the insured much heavier. This can lead to more expensive policies that are out of reach of the working poor.
In swing states such as North Carolina, sometimes too much of a regulatory burden can drive companies out and make it more difficult for Democrats to get renters insurance.
Encompass Insurance, owned by Allstate, has pulled out of North Carolina recently and is non-renewing all of their policies there. This could be due to the regulatory burden.
Perhaps the question isn’t who cares more about having renters insurance, Democrats or Republicans. We should be asking what sort of state environment makes renters insurance most available and affordable to the largest number of people, regardless of their economic situation?