63% of American Consumers Believe This


NEW YORK (MainStreet) — More than half or 63% of Americans believe their world is becoming a riskier place, according to a recent survey conducted by Travelers and Hart Research.

The survey also examined other risks that Americans believe are most prevalent in their lives, including their finances, ID theft, health issues and personal safety. The respondents said the top five risks that concern them the most are the following: 68% are worried about financial matters and risks, 64% are concerned about the risk of personal privacy loss or ID theft, 60% care about the risk of serious health problems, 44% are worried about their personal safety and 43% are focused on risks about extreme weather/natural disasters 43%.

"It is about preparation and prevention," said Patrick Gee, senior vice president of catastrophe response at Travelers. "We are all so busy so we need to set aside some time and ask whether we have sufficiently educated ourselves."

The survey also revealed that 64% are concerned about their bank account being hacked while 62% worry about the potential for ID theft.

"Security is a right for consumers," said Josh Alexander, co-founder and CEO of Toopher, an Austin, Texas-based location-based multifactor authentication and authorization software tool that works with your smartphone to protect online payments and other sensitive online actions. "Consumers should not have to pay for more security and should not have to change or modify their behavior. The burden and responsibility and cost of greater security falls to an enterprise or website."

Consumers are now faced with a new spectrum of personal safety and transportation risks because of technological distractions, resulting in 84% saying distracted driving is a major concern or somewhat of a concern. To boot, 55% said the same about distracted pedestrians, but only 31% of respondents feel they will get into an automobile accident as a result of their own use of mobile device causing a distraction.

While severe weather is the fifth most prevalent concern among Americans, 70% of respondents believe that damaging weather events across the U.S. are becoming more frequent today compared to the last few years. The answers varied regionally with 39% of people living in the South saying they believe severe weather is more frequent now, followed by 36% in the Northeast, 30% of people living in the Midwest and only 12% of people residing in the West.

"Consumers should set some time aside once a year and carve out time to go through the process to focus on their current homeowner's insurance coverage," Gee said.

The risk level has not increased compared to several decades ago, said Tatyana Kuperman, a San Francisco-based psychology expert.

"The initial response is always very dramatic and then we adapt," she said. "Everything is relative and it depends on your previous experience."

--Written by Ellen Chang for MainStreet

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