Woman wearing rainboots stands in flooding house

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Survey: Owners Fear Inability to Recover From Disaster

September 21, 2021

Climate-related events are growing more common, and Americans are concerned, even those who don’t live in coastal areas. Hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and wildfires have them concerned.

Fifty-four percent of Americans fear that they would not be able to afford the cost of a natural disaster. More than one quarter—26%—question if they would ever be able to financially recover from one, according to a new survey of nearly 2,200 Americans from ValuePenguin, a financial information resource.

Only 12% of respondents say they feel financially prepared to face a natural disaster. Americans 55 and younger are the most likely to express regret from their lack of preparation.

Survey results showing the rate consumers among each generation worry about the financial impacts of natural disasters.

Sixty-seven percent of homeowners in hurricane-prone states don’t have or don’t know whether they have a flood insurance policy. Flooding is not covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy. Also, 66% of homeowners at risk of earthquakes don’t have a separate policy, the ValuePenguin study finds.

Americans are increasingly concerned about climate change and other risks and even factoring them into homebuying decisions, according to a survey this spring of nearly 2,000 U.S. residents conducted by the real estate brokerage Redfin. About 75% of respondents say they would be hesitant to buy a home in an area with climate risk. Furthermore, nearly half of the survey respondents who plan to move said natural disasters and extreme temperatures are factoring into their decision. Respondents between the ages of 35 to 44 were the most likely to say that natural disasters, extreme temperatures, and rising sea levels are playing a role in their decisions about where to move. Read more: Climate Change a Factor for Younger Buyers