Study Finds Only 18% of Americans Approve of Insurance Industry’s Job Post-Hurricane Katrina

October 26, 2005

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, an online study of approximately 1,000 U.S. adults conducted by the research group Ipsos Public Affairs shows that while nearly all respondents approve of the job being done by charities and non-profits, only 18 percent approve of the job being done by the insurance industry.

According to Ipsos, 43 percent of Americans disapprove of the job being done by insurance companies and 39 percent are unable to take sides at this time.

“The results for the insurance industry are troubling. The insurance industry rates below all levels of government (national, state, and local) and aid organizations in its response to the hurricane,” said Thomas Miller, regional senior vice president and managing director of Ipsos Public Affairs in the U.S.

“The hurricanes that hit the Gulf Coast have had a devastating effect on people’s lives and livelihoods, and could soon be having a devastating effect on the insurance industry. The tremendous damage wreaked by Hurricane Katrina will take unprecedented amounts of money and effort to fix. Tensions among the key players – the federal, state and local governments, their disaster and relief agencies, the insurance industry and hundreds of thousands of policyholders – seem unavoidable.”

This study also found that while almost 87 percent of Americans have auto insurance, only 67 percent have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance and only 8 percent have flood insurance. Further, less than half (47 percent) of Americans with a household income of less than $25,000 have their home insured, compared with 80 percent of Americans with a household income of $50,000 or more.

This study was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs between Sept. 22-27, 2005, among a representative sample of 1,064 adults nationwide. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 for all adults; margin of error for subgroups may be higher. The interviews for this study were conducted online.

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