62% of Homeowners Say They’re Prepared for a Flood, Yet Only 12% Have Flood Insurance, Survey Finds

As hurricane season begins, half of homeowners say they’re ‘less interested’ in buying flood insurance due to financial pressures from COVID-19.

KALISPELL, Mont., June 01, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sixty-two percent of homeowners say they’re prepared for a flood, but only 12 percent have flood insurance, according to a new survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of National Flood Services, a leading flood insurance solution provider that processes 1.8 million flood policies and $1.4 billion of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) premiums a year.

The survey of 2,048 U.S. adults 18+, of which 1,413 were homeowners, was conducted from April 28-30, 2020 and released today, as the nation enters what researchers predict will be an especially severe hurricane season.

The findings underscore Americans' lack of awareness of flood risks, despite the fact that flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the U.S. Further, the survey found 50 percent of homeowners say they’re “less interested” in buying flood insurance due to financial stresses from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“This survey shows many individuals think they’re protected from flood risks, but will actually be left exposed. As homeowners prepare for an above-average hurricane season in 2020, they aren’t getting the information they need to protect themselves,” said Ralph Blust, CEO at National Flood Services. “There’s a vast information gap — flood is three times more likely than fire to impact a home over the course of a 30-year mortgage, yet homeowners are over six times more likely to be protected from fire than flood.”

In addition, the survey found:

  • 74 percent of U.S. adults claim they’re “not at risk for flooding” and therefore “don’t need flood insurance.” (In reality, 128 million Americans were at risk of flooding this spring alone.)
  • 51 percent of U.S. adults “have no idea” what they or their household would do if they experienced a flood.
  • 77 percent of Americans say they would not buy flood insurance online, with many saying they’d prefer to work with an agent.
  • Only 6 percent of homeowners making under $50,000 have flood insurance.
  • Only 6 percent of homeowners between the ages of 55 and 64 have flood insurance

Ahead of a hurricane season in which researchers predict 16 major storms and eight hurricanes, four of which are forecast to be major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5), flood insurance can help homeowners prepare for the devastating financial impacts of flooding.

“These numbers represent a huge opportunity for insurers to look out for the well-being of their customers,” Blust said. “By first educating them on what they can do to mitigate their exposure to flood risks, then offering an intuitive, tech-enabled experience to protect their homes and families, insurers can help keep their customers safe while preparing them for when disaster strikes.”

About National Flood Services
For over 35 years, National Flood Services has worked with the country's top insurance providers to help protect homeowners from the costly impact of flooding. In support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and write-your-own insurance companies, National Flood Services manages over $1.4 billion of annual premiums and more than 1.8 million policies, furthering its mission of improving people’s lives by reducing the damaging impact of flooding.

National Flood Services is a portfolio company of PEAK6, a Chicago-based operating company that specializes in technology investments.

To learn more about National Flood Services, visit www.nationalfloodservices.com.

About the Survey
The survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of National Flood Services from April 28-30, 2020. The research was conducted among 2,048 adults, of which 1,413 reported being homeowners. Data is weighted where necessary by age by gender, race/ethnicity, region, education, income, marital status, and propensity to be online to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population.

Media contact:
Jack McHugh
(816) 679-8277