Nearly Three-Quarters of Young Homeowners Expect Climate Change-Related Extreme Weather Damage

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A new survey from insurtech leader Policygenius finds widespread concern about climate change-related extreme weather, especially among young homeowners.

The survey found that nearly three quarters (72%) of young insured homeowners (age 18 to 34) expect their homes to be damaged by extreme weather in the next 30 years (describing it as very or somewhat likely), compared to nearly half (45%) of all adult homeowners. Nearly two in three (64%) young homeowners believe it likely they will choose or be forced to move due to climate change-related extreme weather in the next 30 years, compared to 27% of all homeowners.

This disparity increases for young parents: 77% of young homeowners who have children under 18 expect to move in the next 30 years due to climate change-related extreme weather, compared to 25% of total non-parents and 15% of total parents with children older than 18.

“As natural disasters continue to worsen due to climate change, it’s understandable if younger homeowners are wary of the future. In 2021, there were 20 climate disasters in the U.S. that each caused over $1 billion in damage. This included the unprecedented cold wave in Texas that left many homes without power, and Colorado’s Marshall Fire which destroyed an entire community,” Pat Howard, a licensed property and casualty insurance expert at Policygenius, said. “But there are multiple things you can do to protect your family and financial future, including checking to see if you have enough home or flood insurance coverage.”

The Policygenius 2022 Climate Change Survey also found that:

  • Many homeowners have already experienced damage due to extreme weather. Nearly one-third (31%) of insured homeowners have already sustained home damage from a hurricane, tornado, wildfire, flood, or other extreme weather event, while nearly half (48%) of homeowners know another homeowner who has.
  • Many Americans may be underinsured. One-third (33%) of homeowners either don’t believe they have enough insurance for a full rebuild of their homes, or aren’t sure if they do. Just 21% of homeowners have purchased flood insurance, even though flood damage isn’t covered by most home insurance policies.
  • Homeowners in the South are most likely to have seen home damage from extreme weather. Around 37% have suffered damage to their home due to extreme weather, versus 31% of all homeowners. And more than half of Southern homeowners (54%) know someone whose home has been damaged by extreme weather, versus 48% of all homeowners.
  • However, homeowners in the South aren’t more likely to move. Over half (52%) of homeowners in the South think it likely their homes will be damaged by climate change-related extreme weather in the next 30 years. However, under one-third (31%) of Southern homeowners said they’re likely to move in the next 30 years due to climate change, comparable with rates in the West (32%) and the Northeast (28%).

Policygenius commissioned YouGov to poll 1,348 insured American homeowners 18 or older. YouGov conducted this survey online from May 13 to May 17, 2022. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (aged 18+). You can see additional data in the full report here.