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Coffee over wild weather: Aussie homeowners ignoring vital issue

Aussie homebuyers are ignoring the risk of wild weather to their properties.

Woman drinking coffee and looking at phone. Australia property market.
Aussies are more likely to research coffee and dining spots, over their new property's wild-weather risks. (Source: Getty)

Aussies moving home are more likely to check where they can grab a coffee or eat out, rather than look into their new property’s wild-weather risks.

New research by NRMA Insurance found only about a quarter (26 per cent) of Aussies who had recently moved or were planning to relocate had looked into their new property’s vulnerability to weather risks.

With the current cost-of-living crisis, the most important factor for movers was affordability (78.2 per cent). This was followed by public transport and convenience (40.2 per cent), access to healthcare facilities (35.7 per cent) and outdoor-lifestyle factors (35.4 per cent). Weather risks ranked lowest on the list, below local cafe and dining options (27.2 per cent).

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NRMA Insurance executive general manager for direct claims Luke Gallagher said it was important for all Aussies to know their local weather risks, as the frequency and severity of wild weather increased.

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

“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.”

NRMA Insurance has received 10,120 claims for wild weather damage to homes and vehicles this summer.

Where to look

More than half of the 3,500 Aussies surveyed (62 per cent) said they didn’t know where to find advice about weather risks in their local area.

Gallagher recommended people 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,” he said.

NRMA Insurance and IAG have also created severe-weather fact sheets, which provide information on flood, bushfire, hail and cyclone risks.

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