10 scary insurance statistics


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undervalued homes Many people underestimate the likelihood of accidents and natural disasters. As a result, they often lack adequate home, health, life, home and car insurance . Here are 10 compelling statistics that may make you rethink your insurance strategy.

1. Undervalued homes

A 2008 survey by Marshall & Swift/Boeckh LLC found that 64 percent of houses in the United States were undervalued for insurance purposes. Among those dwellings, the average homeowner had enough insurance to rebuild only about 81 percent of his home.


earthquake insurance California is our most seismically active state, yet less than 12 percent of residents who have fire insurance also have earthquake insurance, says the Insurance Information Network of California.

mother and baby In the United States, 30 percent of households (35 million) have no life insurance coverage at all - a 50-year low, according to LIMRA. Compare that to 22 percent of households with no life insurance in 2004.

identity theft The 2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report released recently by Javelin Strategy & Research found that the number of identity fraud victims in the United States increased 12 percent to 11.1 million adults in 2009, while the total annual fraud amount increased by 12.5 percent to $54 billion. Insurers often offer identify theft insurance as an add-on to home and auto insurance policies.

uninsured drivers You may find it difficult to get behind the wheel if you spend too much time thinking about how many uninsured drivers you pass on the road each day. Widespread mandatory auto insurance laws have not resolved the problem. A 2009 report from the Insurance Research Council estimated that about one in six drivers would be uninsured in 2010.

insurance fraud Sometimes insurance companies fall victim to dishonesty. The National Insurance Crime Bureau reports that member companies referred 91,797 questionable claims in 2010, a 24 percent increase over 2008's 74,146 questionable insurance claims.

When fraudulent claims are paid out, guess who pays more for insurance.

disabilities If you are 40 years old, you have about a 40 percent chance that you will be disabled for 90 days or more by the time you are age 65, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Once disabled, there is about a 50 percent chance that you'll continue to be disabled for up to two years.

flood insurance If you do not live near the coast or along a river or creek, you may wrongly assume you are safe from flood water. But about 25 percent of all flood insurance claims last year come from areas with moderate to low risk of flooding, according to the National Flood Insurance Program. Standard home insurance usually does not cover flood damage.

fire insurance There is little rest for the firefighters who protect us. According to a 2009 National Fire Protection Association report, a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the United States every 23 seconds. A fire occurs in a structure every 66 seconds, in a residence every 84 seconds and in a vehicle every 146 seconds.

obesity Obesity and being overweight cost Americans $270 billion per year according to a 2011 report by the Society of Actuaries. That includes the cost of medical care and lost productivity due to disability and early death caused by extra weight. It doesn't include the extra you'll pay for life insurance premiums due to high BMI.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Personal Finance , Insurance

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