According to Hippo Housepower Report 2022the majority of homeowners – 78% of respondents – report having regretted buying a home in the last 12 months.
The report, which surveyed more than 1,000 homeowners in the US, highlights the difficulties of owning a home as inflationary costs continue to rise. Almost half of the participants, 49%, responded that homeownership was more expensive than they expected. Of those who bought a home during the pandemic, 87% say they regret their purchases, compared to 73% of non-pandemic buyers who agree.
In the US, there is also a large gap in homeowner insurance that protects against risks such as wildfire. Insurance Information Instituteit is estimated that two-thirds of homeowners are underinsured against fire because most homeowner’s policies cannot restore a house after a total loss.
Travis Hodges, managing director of omnichannel sales and services for VIU by HUB, adds that flood insurance is another important area to focus on.
“Forest fire [loss] well documented and clearly fraught with risk and challenge, but let’s take a look at these wildfire communities. What are they doing today? Flooding, says Hodges. “…I think the risk of flooding is the part that people don’t talk about much. And when we talk about the insurance gap, I would say that part of the gap is also related to the risk that ordinary homeowners have in terms of flood proneness, which they are not aware of and are not protected from. .”
Educating homeowners about potential risks and informing them about recommended coverage is part of the solution, Hodges said, but tools and technology can help as well.
“Something we’re very intentional about is that at HUB we want to provide both. We want to provide speed and access, complemented by knowledge and education. I think adding one without the other will create a label that someone will be disappointed with,” Hodges states.
Frequent, ongoing discussions between a homeowner and their agent or broker can be critical to informing and properly reaching customers. And digital tools that provide better access to this conversation can help address the lack of education or understanding of politics. Hodges explains that HUB takes a multi-channel approach that combines both digital and human interaction.
“We have trained licensed professionals who know how to assess risk, listen to consumer needs and ensure they are properly protected…” says Hodges. “You can find online tools, but [homeowners insurance] is a technical industry that requires extensive knowledge… You may want to trust a professional who is licensed and trained in this area. And so that the human component should not be underestimated.”
The Hippo Housepower Report notes that the overall rise in rates has resulted in 64% of homeowners postponing home maintenance or repairs, and 64% responding that high gas prices have impacted home renovation funding.
“The effects of inflation and rising prices across the board have likely played a significant role in this for most homeowners, as has the cost of materials,” explains Courtney Klosterman, director of communications at Hippo. “House upgrades or things we all have on our wish list are often delayed because we have to reprioritize our financial spending.”
One problem that may contribute to this home buyer’s remorse is a lack of awareness or education about upkeep of their home, according to Klosterman.
“Often this comes from a lack of innovation in home insurance, more broadly, to create more services that allow insurers to really keep up with the changes that homeowners are making. renovating your kitchen, it might be a good idea to update your insurance policy to ensure that your coverage limit and everything associated with the policy matches any changes in the value of your home,” explains Kloosterman. “I do think there is a lot more education that can be done to help homeowners understand the cost of not having enough insurance, and that an important part of that is maintaining a home on a consistent basis.”
Behemoth also offers services such as Hippo home carewhere clients can speak directly to a home care professional and have seasonal home checks on certain systems.
“One of the things we offer is free smart home devices with every policy that qualifies. And installing this water detection device under your sink can be the deciding factor in whether you need to file an insurance claim…” says Klosterman. . “It’s the little things that, over time, can really have a huge impact on customer protection.”