Hurricanes Irene and Lee Caused Damage to the Homes of 4% Across the U.S., 12% in the Northeast

Reputation of Homeowners’ Insurance Companies Spared

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New York, NY – In an Ipsos Public Affairs survey of over 1,000 U.S. adults, 4% of all respondents nationally report that their home suffered some damage caused by hurricanes/tropical storms Irene and Lee, including 3% who incurred water damage and 2% wind damage. In the Northeast, the proportions are much higher, with 12% reporting damage to their home as a result of these storms, including 10% who mentioned water damage and 4% wind damage.

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While only 2% of adults nationally contacted their insurance company about these damages, 6% of residents of the Northeast have already done so. That is half the proportion of Northeast residents who report having ever filed a claim for any damage caused by a hurricane or tropical storm before Irene and Lee hit (12%). Nationally, 8% say that they have ever filed a claim related to a prior hurricane or storm, with the largest proportion being in the South (14%).

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Despite the widespread damage caused by these recent storms, opinions toward homeowners’ insurance companies and, more generally toward the insurance industry as a whole, have remained steady, according to the latest findings from Ipsos’ monthly I-Rep Insurance Advisor.

Averaging answers for 21 leading homeowners’ insurance companies, 25% of those surveyed nationally express a favorable opinion of them and 8% express a negative opinion. Both percentages are unchanged from the previous wave of the survey conducted in August before Irene and Lee hit. In the Northeast, on average, 29% have a positive view of homeowners’ insurance companies vs. 7% who have a negative view. This shows an increase in favorability as, in August, the proportions were 22% and 8%, respectively.

While the reputation of the insurance industry as a whole continues to remain negative with 41% nationally expressing an unfavorable opinion of it vs. only 21% expressing a favorable opinion, these proportions are nearly unchanged compared to August (41% and 19%, respectively).

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted September 12-15, 2011. For the survey, national samples of 1,009 adults aged 18 and older from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel were interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the U.S. adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of 1,006 and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points 19 times out of 20 of what the results would have been had the entire adult population of adults aged 18 and older in the United States had been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Nicolas Boyon
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Public Affairs

Rebecca Sizelove
Senior Research Manager
Ipsos Public Affairs

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In the U.S., UK and internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, and the Hispanic polling partner of Telemundo Communications Group, a division of NBC Universal providing Spanish-language content to U.S. Hispanics and audiences around the world.

Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

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About Ipsos

Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals that helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world. Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends to develop and test emergent or existing products or services, and build brands. They also test advertising and study audience responses to various media, and measure public opinion around the globe.

They help clients create long-term relationships with their customers, stakeholders or other constituencies. Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting and offers a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2010, Ipsos generated global revenues of €1.140 billion ($1.6 billion U.S.).

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Hurricanes Irene and Lee Caused Damage to the Homes 
of 4% Across the U.S., 12% in the Northeast


Nicolas Boyon
Senior Vice President, US
Head of Health Services Research

Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 212 293 6544