Americans spent more than $23.5 billion replacing and repairing furniture with half of US households reporting damaging furniture in the past year
SAN FRANCISCO – November 5, 2019 – Furniture is key to making a house a home, however new research by SquareTrade, an Allstate company and highly rated protection plan provider, shows modern day life leaves fixtures and fittings vulnerable to damage. In its Furniture Faux Pas Study, SquareTrade finds more than 242 million people have damaged furniture in their lifetime and 37% of damaged items were less than a year old!
The survey explores the types of furniture people damage, the most common causes, and what lengths and expenses people go to repair, replace or hide damage. Digging deeper, SquareTrade finds:
- The Damaged Furniture Financial Hit: An estimated $23.5 billion has been spent by 82 million Americans replacing and repairing damaged items. The average cost of furniture repairs run at $287. Almost half (49%) of damaged furniture originally cost more than $500 and nearly a quarter (21%) cost more than $1,000. Thirty-seven percent of furniture was less than a year old when it was damaged. The majority of people who damaged furniture (51%) say they spent additional money repairing or replacing it.
- Household Hot Seats and Danger Zones: Sofas are by far the most damaged item (34%), followed by dining room tables or chairs (11%), kitchen table or chairs (9%), and lastly, recliners or other living room seating (8%). Most furniture (57%) was damaged in the living room, with 15% of incidents happening in the dining room, 9% in the master bedroom and 6% in the kitchen.
- No Thrills from Spills. The leading cause of damage is spills accounting for 54% of furniture damage. Other top causes are breaks (20%), dents and scratches (18%), rips or tears (17%) and burns (6%). Beverages are the dominant offenders for spills (48%) followed by ink/paint/marker (16%) and food (10%). Juice is the main drink culprit (31%), followed by alcohol (28%) and coffee (27%). Red wine is nearly four times more likely to stain furniture than white wine.
- The Cover Up: Almost half (46%) of people who have damaged furniture reported that they tried to fix or clean the items themselves. However, only 56% of those who took a DIY approach say their efforts were successful. Sixty-one percent of Americans have tried to hide or cover-up damage. They have done this by: flipping the item over (56%), covering it with a cloth (40%), turning the item around (38%), putting another piece of furniture in front of/over the damage (34%) or moving the item against a wall (26%).
- Don’t Blame the Kids or Your Cat: Adults in the household are the most likely to cause damage, with children only accounting for 26% of incidents. When it comes to our four legged friends, dogs are also 2.4x more likely to have damaged furniture than cats.
- Prevention and Cure: Americans employ a variety of methods to prevent damage including applying pre-stain treatments (37%), putting towels or sheets over furniture (36%) and placing slipcovers or plastic sheeting on furniture (28%). When the worst occurs, the majority of people say they are most likely to turn to their homeowners or renters insurance for help. Only 16% of respondents said their furniture was covered by a protection plan and fewer than half (48%) were aware such plans were available for furniture.
“People are used to investing in protection plans for their appliances and electronics, but they don’t give as much thought to protecting their furniture,” said Jason Siciliano, vice president and global creative director at SquareTrade. “This is surprising given the data behind how frequently and costly it is to repair furniture. Investing in a protection plan at the point of purchase is only a fraction of the cost of a couch.”
Furniture protection plans cover repairs or replacements without claims negatively impacting homeowners or renter’s insurance premiums. For more information on ways to protect prized possessions, visit: www.squaretrade.com.
SquareTrade, an Allstate company, is a highly rated protection plan provider trusted by millions of customers for its fast and efficient service. A member of the Allstate family, SquareTrade is headquartered in San Francisco and London. For more information, go to www.SquareTrade.com.
SquareTrade Furniture Faux Pas Study Methodology & Data Sources:
SquareTrade’s 2019 Furniture Faux Pas Study conducted in July 2019 among 1,106 online adults via Lucid. Sampling and multipliers were balanced to ensure representativeness of the US General Population, as determined by U.S. Census QuickFacts’ Population & Household Estimates (2017-2018 figures).