USF survey finds that many homeowners don't realize they're unprotected from flooding risks
The USF St. Petersburg study showed that 73% of the 1,667 residents polled mistakenly believe that they have flood insurance, while less than 5% actually have coverage.
A new survey by researchers from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg Customer Experience Lab found that most U.S. homeowners remain unprotected from floods.
In addition, it found that there are varying risk perceptions among different age groups.
The annual report, made in collaboration with Neptune Flood Insurance, showed that 73% of the 1,667 residents polled mistakenly believed that they had flood insurance.
The St. Petersburg-based Neptune is the country's largest private flood insurance provider.
Despite flooding being among the most common natural disasters in the United States — causing an average of $5 billion in damage each year — less than 5% of the homeowners polled actually have flood insurance.
52.6% of respondents said that flood risk was a minor factor in their home purchase decision, while 23.6% said it was a major factor.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, nearly one in five homes in the United States will experience a flood during a 30-year mortgage.
The study suggests that many homeowners perceive purchasing flood insurance to be confusing, which could relate to the fact that, until recently, theNational Flood Insurance Program was the only provider and educational source for homeowners for over five decades.