Some Homeowners Are More Worried than Others

While most homeowners are worried about protecting their valuables, the degree to which they worry varies a lot from one part of the country to another — and most aren’t doing enough to cover their rear ends, says Allstate.

The insurance company surveyed American homeowners to find out what kinds of precautions they take to safeguard their homes. While 90% of homeowners expressed concern, most weren’t doing enough to protect themselves in case of theft or fire.

Homeowners in the South Atlantic states were the most worried, with 41% telling Allstate they were “extremely concerned” about protecting their homes. Meanwhile, only 28% of Western homeowners expressed this high level of concern.

In terms of taking precautions, most homeowners are careful to have some things covered, while ignoring others. For instance, the insurer found that homeowners are well informed about covering things like TVs and stereos, but forget things such as home décor, area rugs and appliances.

Age seems to have a bearing on homeowner’s insurance thoroughness: homeowners over age 55 were, surprisingly, the most likely not to have documented anything (56%).

Millennials are more likely than their elders to value their possessions every one to two years, but only 47% of them know what their minimum deductible is — and just 40% could describe any details about their current coverage.

These are somewhat alarming findings, given the high level of natural threat to homes we’ve seen in recent years. From last winter’s savage storms in the East, to fierce tornados in the Midwest and drought-fuelled fires in the West, the threat of home damage must surely be on everyone’s mind these days.

And yet, you wouldn’t know it from the results of the Allstate survey.

Perhaps the reason is that people don’t like to spend too much time thinking about such things. This is normal – though by far the best way to have peace of mind is to make sure you know what you’re covered for, and to make sure that every item of value you have is documented.

So, it’s time to get out your homeowner’s policy, and your camera. Make sure that your policy covers the types of threats your home faces these days. Know your deductibles — and any other limitations and potential “gotchas” buried in the fine print. If you have confusion about any terms, call your insurance agent.

Itemize and document everything you own – not just “big ticket items.” Imagine being in the wake of a disaster that claimed your home, and having to replace everything from linens to bedding to electronic equipment, etc. Make sure you’re covered, since the cost of these little things can really add up.

It’s not pleasant to think about the unthinkable, but a little time spent doing just that can save you from a lot more worry later on.


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