Aussies Prioritise Local Coffee over Weather Risk at Home

Aussies moving home more interested in local coffee spots than weather risks

Australians moving home are more likely to research where they can grab a coffee or dine locally, rather than check the risks to their safety and property from wild weather, according to new research by NRMA Insurance.

The research features in the latest edition of the NRMA Insurance Wild Weather Tracker, which revealed that only 26%[i] who have recently moved or are planning to relocate have researched their new property’s vulnerability to wild weather risks.

Concerningly, most Australians (62%) don’t even know where to find advice regarding weather risks in their local area. This is despite the ongoing and devastating impacts of severe weather being experienced across the country in recent years.

The Tracker shows that NRMA Insurance received 10,120 claims for wild weather damage to homes and vehicles nationally this summer, the lowest number received over a summer period in the last six years of tracking claims. Despite a relatively mild season compared to previous years, most of the claims received were for damage to homes (7,645) with nearly half (47%) of all home claims across the country caused by severe weather.

NRMA Insurance Executive General Manager Direct Claims Luke Gallagher said:

With the increasing frequency and severity of wild weather, it’s important for all Australians, and particularly those moving to a new area, to know their local weather risks.

Luke Gallagher

NRMA Insurance Executive General Manager Direct Claims

“Severe weather risks vary significantly by location, and even within towns and suburbs.

“Knowing the specific risks you face is vital, whether that’s a high risk such as flood, bushfire and cyclone, or even general risks from wind and storm damage to your property. Not understanding this level of risk can have major safety and financial impacts.

“For example, one common misconception is that a 1-in-100-year flood risk means a flood will only happen every hundred years, when in fact, this means there’s a one percent chance of a significant flood in any year.”

When asked what would help Australians feel the most prepared for wild weather, 44% stated that knowledge about practical preparedness steps would make the biggest difference.

“The actions you take to prepare today can make all the difference if the worst happens,” continued Mr Gallagher.

We encourage everyone to familiarise themselves with the advice from their state and territory emergency services. Local council websites and the Bureau of Meteorology are also excellent sources of practical information.

Luke Gallagher

NRMA Insurance Executive General Manager Direct Claims

The research also found that the gap between those planning to prepare for wild weather and those taking action has never been larger. While 59% of Australians said they would take steps to prepare for wild weather during summer[i], only 37% of Australians took any steps to prepare this past season.

The events that occurred throughout summer proved all areas of the nation are susceptible to wild weather. New South Wales was hit hard by powerful storms, including hail, which caused considerable damage in western parts of the state. Parts of South Australia experienced significant flooding along the Murray River, as did The Kimberley region in Western Australia which saw its worst-ever flooding event.

Weather conditions across eastern Australia this season are expected to return closer to the autumn average, as the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) index returns to neutral then trends towards El Niño for winter. However, wild weather is still expected to have an impact,with possible severe thunderstorms bringing large hail and periods of heavy rain in eastern parts of the country, while drier conditions in the south and west pose an elevated risk of grassfires.

With 40% of Australians saying they don’t feel prepared to respond to a wild weather event, now is the time to understand your local wild weather risks and take relevant steps to get prepared.

[i] Findings regarding property research relate to the 38% of the 3,500 respondents who have either moved in the last two years or are planning to in the near future.

[ii] The NRMA Insurance Wild Weather Tracker monitors severe weather claims across New South Wales, Queensland, the ACT, South Australia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania.

[iii] When surveyed in November.

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