Extreme weather events causing fatigue, leaving Australians unprepared, according to new research

2 November 2022
  • Allianz’s new research reveals Australians are now feeling ‘indifferent’ and ‘fatigued’ by the weather, leading to a lack of preparedness for serious events.
  • Claims data from Allianz reveals 38 per cent of home insurance claims were the result of extreme weather events1. Since Australia moved into a La Niña pattern event, Allianz has seen an 81 per cent increase in weather-related home and motor insurance claims during the ‘CAT season’ 2 – months we typically experience the most severe weather. 
  • With a third La Niña event under way in Australia, causing heavy rain along the east coast and increased bushfire risks on the west coast, Allianz is encouraging Australians to be Weather Ready, by providing expert guidance on the importance of getting prepared – especially with the recent events.

The increase in frequent and extreme weather events across Australia is causing ‘weather fatigue’, with those surveyed say they feel ‘indifferent’ (32 per cent) and ‘fatigued’ (18 per cent) by the weather, and a quarter (25 per cent) stating they are no longer tuning into the weather report.

New research commissioned by Allianz Australia reveals 39 per cent of Australians describe the weather as unpredictable and unstable (26 per cent), yet nearly 1 in 5 (18 per cent) believe that it is inevitable, so there is no point in preparing for it. This comes as claims data from Allianz shows that 38 per cent of home insurance claims each year were the result of weather events1. Since Australia moved into a La Niña weather pattern, Allianz has observed that there has been an increase in the frequency of weather-related claims, with the 2022 ‘CAT season’ delivering claim volumes 81 per cent higher than 20192.

Feelings of fatigue, indifference and lowering trust are seeing Australians put weather preparedness on hold, with 2 in 5 (42 per cent) Australians saying preparing for a severe weather event is overwhelming, and some respondents stating that ‘looking out the window’ is more reliable than the weather report on the daily news. Additionally, even recent weather events and a third La Niña event confirmed for Australia has not led Australians to update their insurance policy, with 81 per cent of surveyed Australians stating their policy had not been updated due to recent weather events.

With severe weather already underway and further extreme events predicted, Allianz Australia is encouraging Australians to be Weather Ready, by providing expert guidance on the importance of getting prepared – especially with the recent events.

Mark O’Connor, National Manager Claims Technical and Business Operations at Allianz Australia said, “Our data has shown that there has been a significant increase in the volume of claims in relation to severe weather, with parts of the country currently experiencing extreme weather events. Despite these serious events, we are seeing new attitudes like weather fatigue emerge, which is causing Australians to be more reactive than proactive and therefore putting preparedness on hold.

“Allianz appreciates it can seem unimportant or confronting to prepare for a severe weather event, especially as the unpredictable nature of the forecast creates uncertainty. It is important that Australians review the recent forecast and think proactively about getting prepared for weather events and to avoid waiting until they are directly affected. As a first step, Allianz encourages Australians to review their insurance policy and assess whether they have the right level of cover in place. We also suggest Australians keep up to date with The Bureau’s weather warnings, so they can be prepared and respond in a timely manner.”

The research from Allianz went on to reveal that 63 per cent of surveyed Australians feel worried about severe weather predictions, yet 2 in 5 (38 per cent) do not trust weather forecasts as they feel the predictions are usually wrong or change frequently (48 per cent). Despite this, and as a third La Niña event is confirmed, Australians do feel more aware, understand the potential impacts, and the need to be informed (28 per cent).

Jaimie Bloch, Clinical Psychologist and Behavioural Expert said, “The last two years have seen Australians face many adversities and unfortunately this has influenced people’s energy and response. Indifferent and passive attitudes are emerging, causing people to become more reactive than proactive. It is important that Australians do not let these attitudes affect their judgement and approach when it comes to life admin, such as preparing the home for extreme weather.”

For more information on how to be Weather Ready this summer, visit allianz.com.au/support/weather.

  • Keep up to date with The Bureau’s weather forecasts and warnings, so you can prepare and respond in a timely manner.
  • Evaluate your risk by speaking to a local council or SES to find out if you are in an area prone to severe weather. 
  • Continue and keep up with regular house-keeping all year round! From clearing gutters, checking and sealing leaks or removing debris and clutter. 
  • Secure vehicles or outdoor items that could be blown away by wind or damaged by storms, fire or floods. 
  • Gather all important documents and house them on a cloud-based service or provide copies to friends and family members.
  • Review your insurance policy to ensure you have the right level of cover in place and ensure you review this regularly. 
  • And finally, have an emergency plan in place, including a first aid kit, food and water supplies, as well as a portable charger and a torch with fresh batteries. 
  1. Statistics are derived from all Allianz Home and Motor Claims lodged 2019 to 2022 (Year To Date). Allianz has observed that year to date 2022 around 38% of Allianz Home (Home, Building & Contents) claims have related to severe weather events (i.e. catastrophe (CAT) events).
  2. Statistics are derived from all Allianz Home (Home, Building & Contents) and Motor Claims lodged 2019 to 2022 (Year To Date). Allianz has observed that since Australia has moved into a La Niña weather pattern, they have seen an increased frequency of natural hazard claims with the 2022 CAT season claim.
The research was conducted by Pureprofile via an online survey conducted between 19 September and 30 September 2022. The sample comprised a nationally representative sample of 1,516 Australians aged 18 years and over. The data is weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the latest ABS population estimates.
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