BOSTON, Oct. 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- If you own a home or car, unfamiliar and unexpected maintenance or security issues can be a source of worry, regardless of the time of year. Autumn, however, can bring colder temperatures and inclement weather, which can spark issues from rusting metal to clogged gutters—and holiday travel often leads to unattended homes and more wear and tear on our vehicles. In fact, a new survey of 1,000 Americansi from Liberty Mutual Insurance found that more than half of homeowners (55 percent) are worried that an unexpected issue will occur in their home that will require a repair this fall. The data also shows auto owners are equally as worried about car repairs as they are about home repairs.
The new survey on home and auto worries this fall is an extension of the Liberty Mutual Insurance Worry Less Report, released earlier this year, which sheds light on the science of worrying and how to break the worry cycle. To help home and auto owners protect their largest investments and seek security, Liberty Mutual is releasing three 360-degree videos with helpful tips and tricks from DIY and home improvement expert Chip Wade. The videos include tips on how to leave worry behind across topics ranging from DIY home maintenance to emergency preparedness on the road and smart home technology.
Plan Ahead, Conduct Routine Maintenance
According to the survey findings, one in three homeowners have faced an unexpected home repair of $5,000 or more. It's easy to see how homeowners can lose sleep over this; in fact, nearly 30 percent of American homeowners have been so worried about a home improvement project that it has negatively affected their sleep. Across the board, cost is the biggest driver of home improvement worries (40 percent), and nearly one third of American homeowners fear the unknown of a home improvement project (31 percent).
"Don't let worrying get the best of you – procrastination is your worst enemy. The fall is an ideal time for homeowners to perform routine maintenance on the various systems throughout their house. Much of the work can be completed yourself, too – yet only 36 percent are taking the DIY route," says Chip Wade. "Seasonal preparedness can help you worry less as a little routine maintenance goes a long way."
Think Smart, Upgrade Home Technology
As the holiday season approaches, more Americans are traveling and leaving their homes for extended periods. Seventy percent of Americans worry, at least sometimes, about the possibility of a break-in while away from their homes – and 31 percent worry about who has access to their home. Additionally, 64 percent worry about the possibility of a fire and 60 percent worry about their doors and windows being closed or locked. New smart home technology can mitigate these worries, and help homeowners take action quicker with leaking pipes, electrical fires, and even forgetting to lock the doors.
"Instead of asking a neighbor to check in on your home while away, consider installing smart home products such as locks, smoke alarms or video security systems as another way to minimize worry," says Wade. "These connected devices help homeowners keep an eye on their home through their smartphone."
Currently, 27 percent of Americans who own smart home products say they purchased them to save money on utility bills. For additional savings, Liberty Mutual offers a smart home discount on home insurance for qualified customers who adopt certain smart home technology from partner companies such as Nest, Vivint, August Home and Canary.
Give Your Car a Checkup
Similar to home-related issues, for many, anxiety about the unknown creates worry while driving. Survey results found that 39 percent of Americans fear an unexpected mechanical breakdown this autumn, and 36 percent are worried about getting into an accident. To minimize risk, Wade recommends, "Basic auto maintenance leading into the winter months is a must for safety and if you're looking to extend the life of your car, but one of the most overlooked ways to alleviate worry is to ensure you have a roadside emergency kit."
In case of emergency, most Americans are prepared to get themselves back on the road through their own devices (69 percent have a jack, 59 percent have jumper cables), but many are missing essential items that should be included in a roadside emergency kit. Only 29 percent have bottled water or spare food, only 36 percent have a blanket for extreme temperatures or as a ground covering when making repairs, and only 41 percent have a first-aid kit. "These basic items can be pieced together as part of your roadside emergency kit. Keep everything in your trunk or the spare tire wheel well so they're easily accessible," says Wade.
For more home and auto maintenance advice, visit Liberty Mutual Insurance's new resource, MasterThis™.
About Liberty Mutual Insurance
Liberty Mutual Insurance helps people preserve and protect what they earn, build, own and cherish. Keeping this promise means we are there when our policyholders throughout the world need us most.
In business since 1912, and headquartered in Boston, Mass., today Liberty Mutual is a diversified insurer with operations in 30 countries and economies around the world. We are the fifth largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2015 direct written premium data as reported by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. We also rank 73rd on the Fortune 100 list of largest corporations in the U.S. based on 2015 revenue. Liberty employs over 50,000 people in more than 900 offices throughout the world.
The fifth largest auto and home insurer in the U.S., Liberty Mutual (libertymutual.com) sells full lines of coverage for automobile, homeowners, valuable possessions, personal liability, and individual life insurance. We are an industry leader in affinity partnerships, offering car and home insurance to employees and members of more than 14,000 companies, credit unions, professional associations and alumni groups.
i Liberty Mutual Insurance commissioned Research Now to conduct a quantitative survey August 2016 to measure worries at home and on the road among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults 18 years of age and older.
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SOURCE Liberty Mutual Insurance