Many Americans not
prepared for disasters
Friday, May 28, 2010
Most Americans are not fully prepared in the event of a natural
disaster, according to a new national survey by Trusted Choice and the
Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big "I").
Of all survey respondents, less than 22 percent said they felt
they are fully prepared in case of a disaster. More than half of respondents
(51 percent) admitted they are only somewhat prepared, and more than a fifth of
households (22.7 percent) reported that they were not prepared at all.
"Hurricane season officially begins on June 1 and other
disasters can happen anytime, anywhere, as we recently saw with the devastating
floods in Tennessee," said Madelyn Flannagan,
Big "I" vice president of agent development, education and research.
"Lives and property are saved when people know what to do before, during
and after a disaster. This national study further demonstrates that
unfortunately most people are not ready in the event of a natural
The survey further revealed that many households have not even
taken the most basic steps to protect against a disaster. For example, more
than two-thirds of those surveyed (67.7 percent) said they had not created a
photo or video home inventory of their belongings. More than 40 percent have
not assembled a disaster and emergency supplies kit in their homes. Sixty-eight
percent of homeowners have not made any structural improvements or
reinforcements to better protect their property from a disaster.
Of all survey participants, almost 36 percent said they don't have
or don't know if they have adequate insurance coverage to help them through a
disaster, and an alarming 62 percent say they have never discussed a complete
disaster preparedness plan with an insurance agent.
"Independent insurance agents not only advise clients about
insurance, but they're disaster readiness experts," said Robert Rusbuldt, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of
America (IIABA or the Big "I") president and CEO. "It is
imperative to know what your risks are and what to do in the event of a
disaster. We recommend meeting with a Trusted Choice independent insurance
agent who is an expert in assessing your risks and insuring that you, your
family and your home are prepared in the event of a disaster."
Trusted Choice and the Big "I" offer many
disaster-specific readiness and recovery tips for consumers.
The survey was conducted for Trusted Choice via telephone by
International Communications Research (ICR), an
independent research company in Media, Pa. Interviews of a nationally
representative sample of 1,006 households were conducted in May. The survey has
an overall margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent. For more information about ICR,
go to www.icrsurvey.com.
Trusted Choice educates consumers about the benefits of using
independent agents and brokers for their insurance needs: choice of companies,
customized policies and advocacy support. Trusted Choice is the consumer
marketing identity for approximately 10,000 independent insurance agencies and
brokerage firms and 54 leading insurance companies. For more information, go to
Founded in 1896, the Big "I" is
the nation's oldest and largest national association of independent insurance
agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers
and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers
a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents
and brokers offer all lines of insurance property, casualty, life, health,
employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: