personal finance

Protecting Assets Often Low Priority for Americans

May 19, 2010

While Americans may understand the large investment they have in their home, few consider protecting or insuring it as their top financial concern. A COUNTRY Financial® survey reveals that although nearly half (46 percent) say the majority of their net worth is represented by the equity in their home, just two percent say having the right level of insurance protection is their biggest financial priority.

When asked to choose their biggest financial priority, having enough money to pay bills (53 percent) and saving for a secure retirement (17 percent) are the top choices. Having adequate health insurance (4 percent) and saving for a child’s education (3 percent) both ranked higher than having the right level of insurance protection on assets.

“Property insurance is not a glamorous topic, however it’s an important financial issue, especially given the amount of equity many say they have in their homes,” says Keith Brannan, vice president of Financial Security Planning for COUNTRY Financial. “When it comes to financial security, protecting what you own today – your home, car and other possessions – is just as important to achieving financial security as saving for the future or paying bills every month.”

However, the idea of protecting their assets is not lost on all Americans. When given the option to choose both, 58 percent say making sure your property is insured and saving money for future financial needs are equally important.

 

Majority say they review coverage annually

May 19, 2010

More than half (57 percent) say they review their insurance coverage annually to determine if it adequately protects their home, car and other property. Fifteen percent say they review their coverage every two years and another 9 percent review every three years.

“It’s encouraging that so many Americans say they are reviewing their insurance regularly,” adds Brannan. “Doing so with a professional is important in addressing your changing situation and family needs.”

 

Tips to consider when reviewing property insurance coverage:

May 19, 2010
  • Maintaining too little home insurance is a serious problem across the country. Homeowners often don’t realize how much insurance they need to cover the complete loss of their home. A recent survey found the majority of Americans only have coverage to rebuild 80% of their home, so it’s important for people to know exactly how much coverage they have.
  • Home insurance protection goes beyond covering property in the event of damage. People should also make sure they have adequate coverage if someone is injured while visiting their home.
  • Many standard home policies do not cover flood or earthquakes. However, there are optional endorsements and policies to cover these. It’s important to know what a policy covers and what it doesn’t cover.
  • People should take time to think about whether their coverage is enough to replace their possessions. This is especially important for those with special items, like family heirlooms or jewelry.
  • If a vehicle is totaled or in need of significant repair, many policies offer optional coverage for a rental car. This type of coverage can save hundreds of dollars.

The COUNTRY survey on protecting assets is based on a national telephone survey of 3,000 Americans and is compiled by Rasmussen Reports, LLC (www.rasmussenreports.com), an independent research firm. The margin of sampling error for this survey is approximately +/- 2 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

About COUNTRY Financial

COUNTRY Financial (http://www.countryfinancial.com) serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States. It offers a full range of financial products and services from auto, home and life insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and annuities.