NRMA Insurance today launched the Wild Weather Tracker (the tracker) – a seasonal analysis of insurance claims data – to help people prepare and protect themselves against wild weather. The tracker will be released quarterly after every season to show the impact of severe weather in NSW, QLD and the ACT.
NRMA Insurance received more than 15,700 home claims for damage from severe weather in NSW, QLD and the ACT during autumn 2021 (1 March to 31 May) – that’s almost triple the five-year average for autumn.
The tracker also analyses new research from NRMA Insurance on community attitudes to disaster preparedness, finding just half of Queenslanders (53%) and even fewer residents in the ACT (43%) and NSW (39%) said they took steps over autumn to get prepared for severe weather.
The last 18 months have been demanding for so many communities who’ve been hit by multiple disasters – from the Black Summer bushfires, to extreme hail and severe storms. Not to mention the added pressure of a global pandemic.
Executive General Manager Direct Claims
“We’ve created the tracker to help communities understand that wild weather is getting more severe and happening more often. However, we can learn from these events and people can take practical steps to be better prepared, which could ultimately help save lives and property,” Mr Gallagher said.
Wild Weather Tracker shows east coast recorded most autumn storm claims in six years
This first issue of the 2021 tracker highlights the huge impact of the severe storms that hit the east coast of Australia this autumn.
Across NSW, QLD and the ACT, the proportion of severe weather home claims in autumn 2021 was higher than usual, accounting for:
- 76% of all home claims in NSW compared to a five-year autumn average of 50%;
- 57 % of QLD home claims compared to a five-year autumn average of 47%; and
- 43% of ACT home claims compared to a five-year autumn average of 33%.
Most impacted regions, towns and suburbs – Autumn 2021
The Mid-North Coast was the hardest hit region in NSW for severe weather home claims while the Gold Coast was hardest hit in Queensland.
Community concerned about wild weather
New NRMA Insurance research on community attitudes on preparedness asked residents of NSW, QLD and ACT to self-assess their readiness for severe weather on a scale of one to 100 (with one representing the lowest level of preparedness). The research showed Queenslanders feel more prepared than their counterparts in NSW and the ACT. Far North QLD was the most prepared region on the east coast, while Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs was the least prepared region.
ACT residents are the most concerned that natural disasters are becoming more frequent and severe (79% compared to 65% in NSW and 55% in QLD). ACT residents are also the most concerned about climate change, with 85% believing it is making wild weather worse (compared to 70% in NSW and 64% in QLD).
The Severe Weather in a Changing Climate report, which NRMA’s Natural Perils team developed with the US-based National Center for Atmospheric Research, confirms the impact of climate change on the frequency and severity of wild weather. It found that extreme tropical cyclones, storms, hail, floods and bushfires are becoming more frequent in a warmer climate – and that communities in Australia are now experiencing this firsthand
Preparation is key to limiting damage
“We created the NRMA Insurance Wild Weather Tracker to highlight the damage that severe weather causes year-round and to encourage the community to take more steps, more often to prepare their homes, businesses and families for the impacts of natural disasters,” Mr Gallagher said.
“Simple jobs now can help prevent damage, which is why we encourage people to complete this month’s First Saturday task to tie down any loose items in your yard, such as outdoor furniture. It doesn’t take long to do but it can make a big difference when a storm hits.”
The NRMA Insurance First Saturday campaign encourages people to dedicate one Saturday of every month to carry out a small task to make their homes safer. The June and August tasks are focused on getting storm ready.
Find out more about NRMA First Saturday