May 19, 2020

Study: 65% of Americans Think Climate Change is Making Storms Worse

2 in 3 Americans think climate change is making storms worse — and they’re afraid for their homes

The Zebra’s report finds a quarter of Americans have experienced recent storm damage 

AUSTIN, Texas -- May 19, 2020 -- The Zebra, the nation’s leading insurance comparison site, revealed today that two-thirds of Americans believe that climate change is causing worse storms in the place where they live.

The Zebra’s new report examines Americans’ worry about severe storms, homeowner and renter preparedness, and what’s at stake as storms increase in severity and frequency. According to government data, twice as many billion-dollar natural disasters hit the U.S. in the 2010s than in the 2000s. The U.S. now averages $35 billion per year in insured catastrophe damage, up from $25 billion per year in the 2000s.  

Americans are worried about natural disasters

Three in four Americans worry they could face storm or disaster damage this year, with 65% of respondents attributing more severe storms to climate change. That worry is justified: nearly one in four respondents (24%) say a severe storm or natural disaster has recently damaged their home, car, or personal belongings. 

The potential for natural disasters also affects where Americans choose to live:

  • 73% of respondents said they considered storm and disaster risks before moving into a new residence

  • 44% of respondents chose not to move to a particular location because they worried about the potential for severe storms or natural disasters

Are Americans prepared?

Only one in four Americans could correctly identify what disasters their current insurance policy covers.

  • 43% of respondents are worried they’re underinsured or don’t have the right type of insurance to protect their home, car, and belongings

  • 43% of respondents also said they couldn’t afford insurance that would provide adequate coverage for severe storms or natural disasters

  • 33% of respondents were not covered by their insurance for storm damage

  • 20% of respondents had no emergency fund in place to pay for deductibles and emergency repairs after a disaster

Despite lack of knowledge about insurance, 81% of respondents have taken at least one step to prepare for a severe storm or natural disaster.

  • 44% prepared emergency supplies

  • 35% stored copies of important documents and information online or in a safe place

  • 30% set aside an emergency fund to pay for unexpected costs

What do Americans need to know to be protected?

“If your house is flooded, a standard home or renters insurance policy will not cover you. It’s terrible to find that out after the storm. That’s why we’re encouraging everyone to take the time now to understand their risks and get protected,” says Nicole Beck, Director of Communications and licensed insurance agent at The Zebra. “With storms intensifying across the country causing fear and uncertainty, you need to know how — and if — your insurance keeps your home, car and belongings covered.”

For comprehensive information about the findings of natural disasters and consumer knowledge, please see The Zebra’s 2020 Weather Report or visit The Zebra at 

This report presents the findings of an anonymous online survey of 1,100 U.S. residents age 18 and older residing in all 50 states and Washington D.C, calibrated by age, gender, homeownership status and geographic region.

About The Zebra 

The Zebra is the nation's leading insurance search comparison site. With its dynamic, real-time quote comparison tool, drivers can identify insurance companies with the coverage, service level, and pricing to suit their unique needs. The Zebra compares more than 100 car insurance companies and provides licensed agent support and educational resources to ensure drivers are equipped to make the most informed decisions about their policies. It's "insurance in black and white."