New Allstate poll reveals first-time homeowners are often slightly better prepared for holiday home hazards, but everyone should do more
Poll also uncovers risky social media behavior that can lead to home hazards
SEATTLE, (Dec. 8) – Festive, joyful and togetherness are just a few words that come to mind when thinking about the holidays. However, a new national Allstate poll – released just in time for the 2016 holiday season – shows “hazardous” should be at the top of the list, too.
Allstate’s fourth annual national holiday home hazards survey[i] also reveals first-time homeowners are often slightly ahead of their more experienced counterparts, as well as renters, when it comes to preparing their homes for potential holiday hazards. Still, each group has room for improvement, especially since more than half of adults say their home is one of their most important possessions.
When it comes to Washington, Allstate found the following hazards have the largest spikes during the holiday season:
“With so much focus on shopping, decorating, making holiday meals and other preparations, people may overlook simple, but important safety steps to protect their homes,” said Elaine Denslow, Allstate agency owner in Bellevue. “Now is a great time to make sure your home is safe and secure, so you can enjoy a hazard-free holiday with friends and loved ones.”
Deck the Halls to Prevent Hazards
First-time homeowners are particularly excited about showing off their new homes, as nearly 90 percent expect to host holiday celebrations, compared to 62 percent of experienced homeowners and fewer than half of renters. A few precautionary measures can better protect the hosts and their guests. Allstate’s survey found:
Not taking proper precautions can lead to costly damage. Allstate claims data show the following are among the hazards that strike more often during the holiday season:
[i] The 2016 Allstate Holiday Home Hazards survey was conducted by FTI Consulting from October 6-16, 2016. The survey was conducted among N=1,015 adults (home/condo owners and renters) and an oversample of N=224 first-time home or condo owners who purchased their very first home in the past year.
‘Tis the Season for Theft
Nearly 60 percent of consumers will do their holiday shopping online, with the majority taking advantage of free delivery, according to the National Retail Federation.[i] Allowing those packages to be left out on the porch makes them easier to steal. More than 20 million Americans have had deliveries swiped from their doorsteps, according to a study conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International.[ii]
Allstate found that, when ordering items online or by telephone during the holiday season:
Holiday trips also may become holiday home hazards. While travelers take some precautions before departing, they may also leave behind opportunities for theft:
Think no one will notice you’re not home? Think again – and don’t risk making your home and valuables easy targets, especially since Allstate found the following happens more frequently during the holidays:
[i] National Retail Federation, https://nrf.com/media/press-releases/retailers-prepare-post-election-holiday-shopping
[ii] InsuranceQuotes.com, http://www.insurancequotes.com/home/holiday-hazards-120215
Social Media Oversharing
Social media also can unlock opportunities for holiday home hazards. First-time homeowners – about three-quarters of those surveyed are millennials – are more likely to take risks on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and other popular sites over the holidays.
Forty percent of first-time homeowners spend more time on social media during the holiday season, compared to the rest of the year. This is the case for only a quarter of experienced homeowners and 24% of renters. Those who post may provide very personal details:
Oversharing on social media can send a message to criminals that a home may be unoccupied – information holiday travelers should keep confidential. Allstate found:
Allstate’s Top 10 Tips for Holiday Home Safety
To help make the holidays festive, joyful and safe, visit Allstate’s Holiday Decorator for a fun, interactive lesson on how to avoid disasters that can come with decking out your home. Other tips to protect against potential holiday hazards include:
For more home safety tips and information, visit The Allstate Blog. Also, Mayhem, a familiar face in Allstate ads, is getting into the holiday spirit with the release of his original holiday album “A Very Mayhem Holiday.” The album will feature seven original holiday songs and will be available to enjoy at MayhemCarols.com or www.pandora.com/AllstateMayhemCarols.
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer, protecting approximately 16 million households from life’s uncertainties through auto, home, life and other insurance offered through its Allstate, Esurance, Encompass and Answer Financial brand names. Now celebrating its 85th anniversary as an insurer, Allstate is widely known through the slogan “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®.” Allstate agencies are in virtually every local community in America. In 2015, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate, its employees and agency owners gave $36 million to support local communities.