Many U.S. homeowners are not taking preventative steps with necessary maintenance to their home before a problem becomes a major issue, the major new survey has found.

According to the findings of the survey, conducted by the Columbus, OH-based insurance and financial services organization Nationwide, within the past year, 44 percent of the homeowners who were polled said they have delayed performing routine maintenance tasks, and 31 percent are delaying necessary renovations and repairs—with 78 percent of these individuals saying they have deferred necessary maintenance because of inflation and rising prices. In addition, a quarter of surveyed homeowners said they are unaware that delaying necessary home maintenance can have implications for their homeowner’s policy.

Among these individuals, the most common types of home maintenance or renovations that are being delayed are roof repair/replacement and kitchen/bathroom remodeling. Baby boomers (38 percent) are less likely than Gen X (50 percent) and Millennial (52 percent) homeowners to have delayed home maintenance needs, the survey found.

“Inflation may be cooling, but homeowners who delay necessary renovations to their homes risk spending thousands of dollars in costly property repairs down the line,” said Beth Riczko, Nationwide’s President of P&C Personal Lines. “Contractors should be reminding their customers to regularly conduct checks in their homes to ensure they are not overlooking maintenance that will save them from potential property loss.

“It’s easier to prevent a problem than to repair a bigger issue,” Riczko added. “Mitigating risk is an important part of homeownership.”

According to the Nationwide survey the major reasons homeowners are not properly maintaining their homes include:

  • 78 percent cite inflation and rising prices.
  • 46 percent noted other financial priorities.
  • 32 percent lack the time or energy.
  • 23 percent had difficulty finding a reliable contractor.
  • 20 percent lack knowledge or experience with home repairs or renovations.

According to the findings of the Nationwide survey, 71 percent of the company’s agents reported that customers are reducing their homeowner’s coverage to save money. The most common homeowners claim seen by agents stem from weather-related damage and fire damage, with most agents reporting an increase in these types of claims over the past year, the company said.

“No one plans to file a home insurance claim, yet the survey found that 43 percent of homeowners have filed a claim, said Riczko, adding that more than half the claims (56 percent) were related to weather, 37 percent for water damage, and 13 percent for fire damage.

“Taking proactive steps not only protects the homeowners’ investment but also provides peace of mind knowing they are better prepared for any challenges that may arise,” Riczko said.

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