Survey: How prepared are you for emergencies?

March 29, 2018

Do you have more than $1,000 set aside for an unexpected emergency? If so, you are in a better financial position than many other Americans. In fact, a recent HomeServe survey found that only half of Americans (50 %) have more than $1,000 saved for any type of unexpected emergency. Even more concerning is that 20% reported having no savings at all for an unexpected emergency expense of any kind.

When it comes to being prepared for an emergency home repair, 32% of American homeowners have up to $1,000 available, while 18% reported having no funds available. Another interesting finding of the survey was that 88% of male homeowners had money set aside for an emergency home repair compared to 77% of female homeowners.

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HomeServe announced the survey findings as part of its Winter 2018 edition of the HomeServe Biannual State of the Home Survey. The twice annual survey, now in its sixth edition, reports on the financial impact of home repairs. The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll earlier this year.

While far too many have little to no savings for an emergency home repair, over half (51%) of homeowners indicated that they had experienced a home emergency in the past year alone. From a repair/replacement of an HVAC system (17%) or water heater repair/replacement (11%) to a blocked/overflowing toilet (13%) or leaky water pipe (9%), this finding further highlights the importance of being financially prepared for the unexpected. 

The survey also asked homeowners who would be responsible for paying for a repair to a sewer or water line on their property. 42% of homeowners didn’t know they would be responsible for the costs: 13% thought the city/town or utility would cover it; 11% figured it would be covered under their homeowners insurance; and 18% didn’t know who would be responsible. Among the total population, only 39% of the youngest Americans – ages 18-34 – knew that homeowners would be responsible for the repair of a water or sewer line on their property compared to 65% of adults age 65+.

A core feature of what HomeServe provides our municipal partners is education, and we make it a priority to educate homeowners about their responsibility for the water and sewer lines running from the street to their homes. Further, with 37% of homeowners indicating having trouble finding a contractor in a reasonable amount of time during a home emergency, the value for homeowners of having a HomeServe plan is that it takes the worry and inconvenience out of the home repair process.

For more highlights expand the infographic and for information about the Winter 2018 edition of the Biannual State of the Home Survey, read the full press release. To find out what HomeServe plans are available in your area, visit here.