Nearly three quarters of consumers say the most significant threats facing their homes today are weather-related, and 68% are aware of things they can do to protect their properties to reduce risk.
The top weather-related concerns are water damage from rain or snow melt, followed closely by wind damage from tornados and hurricanes. Just 27% of consumers cite non-weather-related risks, such as plumbing and appliance issues and theft as the most significant threats to their homes.
While a large number of homeowners say they are ready to act, a smaller number (50%) have actually made changes to protect their homes from extreme weather events. Another 50% have not made any changes. Some may be waiting for their insurance carriers to make the first move in the form of credits or discounts. An overwhelming 71% of homeowners said they'd be willing to spend their own money to fortify their homes in exchange for reduction in insurance premium.
"Today's consumers are clearly more aware of and concerned about the risks from serious weather issues. It's not surprising. From hurricanes to wildfires, almost every area of the U.S. has experienced the impact of severe weather. The NAIC is committed to continuing to educate and engage with consumers on the things homeowners can do to reduce their exposures and focusing on ways to help make communities more resilient," said David Altmaier, President of the NAIC and Florida Insurance Commissioner.
NAIC Campaign to Better Prepare Consumers
With 41% of consumers surveyed saying recent weather events could impact their risk of future losses to their homes, the NAIC is launching a new consumer education campaign. Building off its successful "What the Flood!?" campaign, the NAIC is launching a multi-media campaign to provide consumers more information about how to be better prepared to handle weather-related risks utilizing a three-step approach:
#KnowYourRisks will help homeowners understand how their home might be impacted by weather events--and that's changing all time. For example, the campaign will encourage homeowners to check FEMA flood maps once a year to see if the exposures to the home have changed.
Many homeowners incorrectly assume that flood is included in their homeowners' policies--a fact confirmed by the survey which showed 56% of consumers incorrectly assuming flood would be covered by their homeowners' policies. #CoverYourRisks will encourage consumers to understanding what policies will cover what weather events and the impact those events might have on the homeowner's deductible.
#ReduceYourRisks is the third key component of protecting your home from extreme weather events. The survey revealed that homeowners are willing to make an investment in protecting their homes. The campaign offers advice on how a homeowner can strengthen their ability to withstand storms and other perils, highlighting several which do not require significant budget and time to implement. Clearing trees and brush from around the home, taking in patio furniture during a storm and keeping gutters clear of debris, for example, are basic steps that can really make a difference.