(NYSE:TRV) today released the baseline data for its new Consumer Risk Index, an annual survey that provides insight into the types of risks the American public believe to be most prevalent in their everyday lives. According to the Consumer Risk Index, 63 percent of Americans believe their world is becoming a riskier place, while only 15 percent feel it is less risky. The greatest levels of concern focus on their financial security, loss of privacy and identity theft, personal safety and the increased frequency of severe weather.
The debut of Travelers’ Consumer Risk Index coincides with National Preparedness Month, which is observed every September, to serve as a reminder to individuals and families to consider how to plan for and better manage unexpected events that could impact their daily lives.
“Americans realize that many of today’s most worrisome risks did not exist half a generation ago,” said Patrick Gee, SVP of Catastrophe Response at Travelers. “The Consumer Risk Index provides insight as to what concerns people most, and gives us an opportunity to offer simple, everyday steps on how they can best manage those risks.”
After several years of economic difficulties, financial concerns topped the list of issues that weigh most on Americans’ minds. Sixty-eight percent of respondents say they worry about financial risks, including providing for their family.
Technology’s Double-Edged Sword
As technology becomes a more central part of our everyday lives, it also contributes to Americans feeling their world is now more risk-prone. Technology-related risks are the second biggest concern identified on the Consumer Risk Index, with 64 percent of individuals worrying about personal privacy loss. When asked to specify, their worries took many forms:
- 64 percent are concerned about their bank or other financial accounts being hacked;
- 62 percent worry about ID theft; and
- 48 percent fear losing confidential information via a stolen computer.
Technology-related concerns are not limited to information being hacked or exposed. An entire new spectrum of personal safety and transportation risks now exist due to technological distractions. Eighty-four percent of respondents say distracted driving is a concern, while 55 percent said the same about distracted pedestrians. Only 31 percent of respondents, however, are concerned that they themselves could get into an automobile accident as a result of their own use of a mobile device while driving.