WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J: A new survey from Chubb finds that the majority of homeowners are underestimating the likelihood of disability, especially during retirement years, and the impact it can have on their everyday life.
Despite the fact that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that one in four U.S. adults lives with a disability, Chubb's Home Accessibility survey found that close to half of homeowners (44%) say they are not prepared to care for themselves or loved ones with a serious illness, disability, or simply aging in place. Among their top concerns, more than a third (38%) of homeowners are worried about the need for home renovations in the event they or their family member becomes disabled, whether due to accident, illness, injury or another cause.
Recognizing this growing need, and timed in conjunction with Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Chubb is launching a new complimentary accessibility consultation service intended to give existing Chubb homeowner clients advice on how to make their homes more accessible, without compromising structural integrity or diminishing value. Our team of national risk consultants has been trained by some of the leading accessibility experts in the country, including specialized architects, says Jennifer Naughton, executive vice president at Chubb Personal Risk Services. Leveraging their expertise in design and accessibility, our risk consultants can advise clients on home design elements that might impede accessibility and how to retrofit accordingly.
Coupled with the fact that 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 each day and that Chubb's survey found 72% of homeowners want to remain in their home as they age, addressing existing home design elements that might hinder long-term accessibility is paramount, added Naughton.
Fortunately, many homeowners are starting to recognize such hurdles and the importance of related improvements, but they have a way to go. The vast majority—81% and 82%—of homeowners would need to make changes to their home to accommodate caring for a loved one with a disability or to support aging in place, respectively. However, Chubb Masterpiece homeowner clients have access to vetted, trusted professionals, such as architects, designers, and licensed contractors, who can assist them with making their home more accessible and beautifully designed.
In addition to consulting with clients, trained risk consultants will work with independent agents and brokers. Accessible design renovations may require meaningful financial investments from clients. Our risk consultants can assist agent and broker partners to help them understand the exact replacement cost value of their clients' investments to ensure they are fully protected, said Naughton.
To help agents and brokers learn about the market need and opportunity as well as key principles and design considerations of universal residential construction, Chubb is launching a new resource center that includes rich multimedia marketing materials such as videos, infographics and collateral, some of which have been produced in partnership with the Cerebral Palsy Foundation. Agents and brokers can access the resource center at www.chubb.com/accessibilityisbeautiful.
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