Many homeowners delay maintenance

Hippo, the home insurance group focused on proactive protection, today announced findings from its 2022 Homeowner Preparedness Report, revealing the effect of today’s economic climate on homeowners as they deal with the responsibilities that come with owning a home.

According to the national survey of nearly 2,000 U.S. homeowners and renters, owning a home is still a critical part of achieving their life goals, but it may come at a cost for those who lack a clear understanding of homeownership responsibilities. With national inflation rates reaching a high of 8.5 percent already this year, homeowners today have been more hesitant than in previous years to complete important home maintenance projects, with more than half of first-time homeowners (51%) putting them off due to inflation and price increases, and just one in five homeowners (20%) setting aside money or creating a budget to pay for home upgrades or maintenance.

In addition to heightened financial pressures, nearly a third of homeowners (31%) surveyed say they have experienced unexpected repairs to their home in the past year that were caused by severe weather or climate-related issues. With growing financial and climate uncertainty, establishing a preventative home care routine for homeowners to tackle smaller issues before they become costly repairs is more important than ever.

“As homeowners navigate their daily responsibilities, proactive home maintenance shouldn’t be an afterthought. Instead, it should be met with a sense of confidence and accomplishment in protecting what many Americans consider their most important financial asset,” said Rick McCathron, CEO of Hippo. “There’s no denying there are an increasing number of external factors affecting homeowners today. At Hippo Insurance Services, we review policies annually to ensure customers have the right amount of coverage within the current economic environment, and partner with homeowners to proactively protect their homes by offering them the tools they need to succeed.”

Report Key Findings:

For homeowners, owning a home remains critical to obtaining the American dream

Despite repair needs and external pressures, homeowners maintain their joy of homeownership and view it to be a key to happiness.

  • 70% of homeowners find homeownership to be an important part of the American dream; with nearly three-quarters (74%) agreeing it is a key to happiness
    • Two-thirds of renters (66%) who are likely to purchase a home in the next year agree homeownership is a key to happiness
  • Nearly half of younger homeowners (Gen Z and Millennial) (46%) are driven by their desire to become a homeowner and the vast majority (66%) agree homeownership is an important part of the American dream
  • Nearly all homeowners (90%) report a sense of happiness when it comes to owning their home, compared to just one-third of renters (31%) who feel a sense of happiness when it comes to renting their home

Homeowners have big dreams of wanting to take on more responsibility, yet a lack of education stands in the way

Although eager to stay on top of home maintenance, one in three homeowners (31%) put off repairs or upgrades, mainly due to limited knowledge and time.

  • Nearly all of homeowners (94%) say they would rather take action on smaller repairs now to save big on costs later—especially first-time homeowners
  • However, one-third of homeowners (31%) wait until something breaks in their home, and of those homeowners, 28% say they wait because of a lack of knowledge around home maintenance, while 27% say they don’t have time to regularly check that things are working
  • Three in five homeowners (60%) have paid an average of nearly $4,000 in unexpected repairs in the past year
    • Among homeowners, just 20% say they have a budget or regularly set aside money for home maintenance

External pressures bring about new challenges for homeowners when it comes to responsible home care and maintenance

For first-time and recent homeowners alike, inflation and supply chain issues could be getting in the way of their home care, while all homeowners face climate-related pressures.

  • Two in five homeowners (43%) have not moved forward with or planned home maintenance or improvement projects due to inflation
    • More than half of first-time homeowners (51%) say inflation and price increases have kept them from doing planned home maintenance or improvements over the past few months
  • More than one-third of homeowners (39%) say supply chain issues and shortages have hindered their planned home maintenance projects
    • Nearly half of new homeowners (47%), those who purchased their home post-pandemic (after 2020), cite supply chain issues and shortages hindering their home project plans
  • One in three homeowners (31%) have experienced damage to their home caused by severe weather or climate-related issues

Owning a home has long been part of the American dream and as seen through the report results, continues to be today for many aspiring and current homeowners. As homeowners face new challenges in proactively protecting their homes, having a partner in their home’s protection is essential. Hippo takes a proactive approach to homeownership by offering services and tools focused on preventative care that help customers reduce risks, including smart home devices and preventive home maintenance support, along with seasonal home care tips and advice.

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