Survey: Many Don’t Think Hurricane Preparation Is Necessary

August 26, 2019

Many homeowners appear to be banking on a light hurricane season this year—even though meteorologists have already predicted it to be active and destructive. Hurricane season runs from now until the end of October, but a new survey shows that the homeowners most at risk aren’t taking any precautions to protect their homes. Nearly one in four homeowners say they haven’t taken any hurricane safety preparations, according to a new survey of about 1,000 homeowners conducted by ValuePenguin.com, a personal finance website owned by LendingTree.

Further, the majority of homeowners are “severely underestimating” the potential cost of hurricane and flood damage, the survey found. More than 50% of survey respondents estimate that the average home would require less than $10,000 in damage repairs following a hurricane or flood. However, the average claim amount from wind and hail damage is $10,200, while the average claim for flood damage is $92,000. Average claims from hurricanes in recent years has ranged from $30,000 (Hurricane Irene) to more than $100,000 (Hurricane Harvey).

Hurricane chart. Visit source link at the end of this article for more information.

© ValuePenquin.com

Many survey respondents report confusion about how much insurance coverage they need. In high-risk states, 45% of homeowners say they don’t know how much hurricane-related insurance they’d need to be fully protected. Flooding is rarely part of standard home insurance and usually requires a separate policy. Wind and hail, on the other hand, are usually included in standard coverage. Insurers urge homeowners to better understand what their standard insurance covers. “Homeowners from the riskiest coastal states have demonstrated a lack of urgency in preparing to deal with the consequences of a hurricane,” according to the report.

Forty-three percent of survey respondents who live in high-risk states say they believe weather professionals exaggerate the risk of hurricanes compared to 30% of respondents in the rest of the country. Fifty-six percent of homeowners say they are reluctant to evacuate their homes during a weather emregency and would only leave if an evacuation was mandatory. One in 10 surveyed say they would not evacuate at all.

As the peak of hurricane season is now underway, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting five to nine hurricanes in the Atlantic before the end of November.