Biannual State of the Home Survey Finds HVAC System Repairs Are A Concern for Many Homeowners

Preference Also Found for HomeServe-Style Repair Plans to Pay for Home Repairs Over Insurance Rider Option

  • Over one-third of American homeowners (35 percent) have less than $500 or nothing set aside for an emergency home repair. Over half of homeowners with an annual household income of less than $50,000 (54 percent) have less than $500 – or nothing – set aside for such a repair.
  • More than half of homeowners (58 percent) have had a home repair emergency in the past 12 months, with an HVAC repair being the most frequently cited repair needed (22 percent). Almost half of homeowners (47 percent) are concerned about their HVAC system breaking down or needing repair.
  • The majority of homeowners (69 percent) say they would like their local utility provider to offer an optional service repair plan from an outside company for major home systems. And more homeowners would favor paying for a water line repair through a service plan, like those offered by HomeServe, over an insurance rider.

NORWALK, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--HomeServe USA (HomeServe), a leading provider of home repair solutions, announced the findings of the ninth edition of its Biannual State of the Home Survey that reports on the financial impact of home repairs and the state of the American home in addition to researching the latest home ownership trends. This edition of the survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of HomeServe in September 2019 among over 2,000 U.S. adults age 18+, of which over 1,300 are homeowners.



For the first time, the survey measured homeowners’ preferences about how to pay if they needed repairs on the water line on their property. Forty-two percent report a preference for paying outright for that type of repair, while over one-third (34 percent) say they would prefer to pay through a deductible-free service plan into which they pay $5 monthly to cover repairs in full, similar to what HomeServe offers. The proportion of homeowners preferring a service plan option was double the proportion who say they would prefer to pay $35/year rider on their homeowners insurance that would fully cover the repairs after a $500 deductible (17%). Finally, the survey found most homeowners are in favor of local utility providers offering an optional service repair plan from an outside company for major home systems – 69 percent of homeowners would like this approach.

Adding to these new insights, the survey found that many homeowners are especially concerned about the condition of their homes’ heating and air conditioning systems (HVAC). Almost half of homeowners (47 percent) say they are concerned about their homes’ HVAC system breaking down or needing repair. With more than half of homeowners (58 percent) reporting a home repair emergency in the past 12 months, almost a quarter of homeowners (24 percent) reported that they had an emergency related to their homes’ HVAC system during that time. Understanding that this is a major concern for homeowners, HomeServe continues to expand its HVAC offerings, including through recent acquisitions of HVAC companies in Cleveland and the Washington, D.C.-area.

Each of the nine editions of the survey have measured homeowners’ savings practices for unexpected home emergencies. Consistent with the findings of the last survey,1 17 percent of homeowners in the latest survey report having no money set aside for an emergency home repair. That number jumps to one-quarter (25 percent) for homeowners with annual household incomes of less than $50,000. Based on an age breakdown, the number of homeowners with no savings set aside rises to 23 percent for those age 55-64 and to 22 percent for those 65 and older. In the survey, homeowners residing in the Midwest prove to be better savers than those residing in the South, with only 11% of Midwest homeowners having no money set aside compared to 21% of homeowners in the South.

With technology transforming how we live, the latest survey also explored what homeowners most want from a home maintenance mobile app. Last year, HomeServe made a strategic investment in consumer technology company Centriq in order to launch a new app that makes it easy for users to capture and manage all the complex devices in their home, from electronics and appliances to heating and cooling equipment, simply by taking a photo of a product label. The app then identifies the product by make and model and provides users with a suite of resources to troubleshoot problems, learn how to use the product better, find the right parts, get notified about recalls, get repair help and access to technicians when service is needed.

In the survey, 86 percent of homeowners say that the ability of a home maintenance app to offer a list of service providers would be a useful feature. Other features a majority of homeowners say would be useful in a home maintenance app are the ability to provide product recall notices (84 percent), the ability to order replacement parts for home items (81 percent), and the ability to store user manuals and access how-to-videos (79 percent). All of these features are available in the HomeServe App.

For more information on available repair service plans, visit www.HomeServeUSA.com and for helpful homeowner tips, visit www.HomeServeUSA.com/blog.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of HomeServe from September 17-19, 2019 among 2,050 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, of whom 1,370 are homeowners. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact homeserve@hkstrategies.com.

About HomeServe

HomeServe USA Corp. (HomeServe) is a leading provider of home repair solutions serving more than 4 million customers across the US and Canada under the HomeServe, Home Emergency Insurance Solutions, Service Line Warranties of America (SLWA) and Service Line Warranties of Canada (SLWC) names.

Since 2003, HomeServe has been protecting homeowners against the expense and inconvenience of water, sewer, electrical, HVAC and other home repair emergencies by providing affordable repair coverage, installations and quality local service.

As an A+ rated Better Business Bureau Accredited Business, HomeServe is dedicated to being a customer-focused company supplying best-in-class repair plans and other services to consumers directly and through over 700 leading municipal, utility and association partners.

HomeServe is teamed up with television personality and author Mike Rowe, best known as the creator and host of the series “Dirty Jobs,” and is a sponsor of This Old House on PBS, working together to provide homeowners expert advice on maintaining, enhancing and protecting their homes. For more information about HomeServe, a Connecticut Top Workplace winner and recipient of thirty-three 2019 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, or to learn more about HomeServe's affordable repair plans, please go to www.homeserve.com. Connect with HomeServe on Facebook and Twitter @HomeServeUSA. For news and information follow on Twitter @HomeServeUSNews.

1 Survey conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of HomeServe from Feb. 27-March 1, 2019 among 2,031 U.S. adults 18+ (1,429 homeowners)


Contacts

Myles Meehan
HomeServe USA
Phone: 203-356-4259
Email: Myles.Meehan@homeserveusa.com

Claire Deneen
Hill+Knowlton Strategies for HomeServe
Phone: 312-255-3134
Email: homeserve@hkstrategies.com