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Survey: Majority of Americans Mistakenly Believe That a Standard Home Insurance Policy Covers Flood Damage

Home Insurance Misconceptions Study Dispels
Myths on Floods, Dog Bites and Stolen Car Items—

AUSTIN, TEXAS (April 6, 2017) — Think you have an accurate understanding of what your home insurance policy does and doesn’t cover? Well, based on new data, chances are … you don’t!  And you’re far from alone. 

In a March 2017 survey commissioned by insuranceQuotes, 56% of respondents mistakenly believed that a standard homeowner’s policy covers flood damage. For millennials ages 18 to 36, the percentage rose to 67%.

“Being misinformed about your home policy can be an extremely expensive mistake — especially when a few inches of water in a 1,000 square-foot home can easily cost over $10,000 in repairs,” said Laura Adams, senior insurance analyst at insuranceQuotes. “There are a number of widespread myths ranging from coverage for dog bites to items stolen from your car that frequently trip up policyholders.”

Consumers may overestimate their coverage when it comes to flooding, but they underestimate when it comes to dog bites. Regarding potential lawsuits filed by someone bitten by a policyholder’s dog away from the owner’s property (such as at a dog park or on the street), 54% of respondents and 67% of millennials didn’t know they would be protected with a standard homeowner’s policy.

And while 81% of respondents knew that valuables stolen from their homes were covered under a standard homeowner’s policy, only 28% knew renter’s insurance would cover valuables stolen from their cars. For millennials the percentage was even lower: 25%.

For less than $200 a year on average, renter’s insurance provides broad protection for personal property, liability and loss of use. But the survey also reveals that only 58% of millennials who rent have a renter’s insurance policy.  

“It’s critical for consumers to thoroughly explore their options and really understand the protections that are included or excluded with a standard renter’s or home insurance policy. Don’t wait until right before a big storm is headed your way to get coverage because there may be a waiting period,” added Adams.

The full report is available at /home/insurance-misconceptions-flooding-dog-bites-car-40617


Princeton Survey Research Associates International obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,001 adults living in the continental U.S. Interviews were conducted by landline (501) and cellphone (500, including 312 without a landline phone) in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source from March 16-19, 2017. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

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