Media release, 


The Generali severe weather report:

Flooding worries 55% of the population

  • A representative survey by Generali shows how the Swiss experience and deal with severe weather.
  • One exemplary result from the survey was that over 90% of Swiss citizens take protective measures when severe weather warnings are issued.
  • 75% of storm damage affects vehicles, but people are also injured in almost 10% of cases.

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Adliswil – Which types of severe weather most trouble the Swiss? What are their experiences with severe weather and with their insurance? Generali surveyed over 1,000 people aged 18–69 from German and French-speaking Switzerland on the subject.

Severe weather is a concern – the Swiss stay informed and actively take protective measures

More than half of those surveyed said that they generally worry about severe weather. Hail (56%) is the most worrying weather phenomenon, followed by the highly topical subject of flooding (55%) and storms (40%). Only 6% worry about avalanches. The vast majority of Swiss people (80%) use weather apps to inform themselves and prepare for severe weather, while 71% have activated automatic notifications and alerts so that they aren’t surprised by a turn in the weather.

But the Swiss also follow up with action by taking precautions if their app forecasts severe weather: three-quarters of those surveyed close their windows and doors when severe weather threatens; 60% secure loose objects; 56% raise their awnings and shutters; and 49% protect their plants and garden furniture. In addition, 45% of Swiss people bring people and animals to safety and 45% put their vehicles and bicycles into shelters. Overall, over 90% take one or more protective measures.

Storms cause hail damage to cars

Half of those surveyed have experienced damage caused by storms in the past. In most cases, vehicles were damaged (75%), whereas damage to buildings was less common (32%). According to the respondents, 10% of the damage affected people. At more than 80%, hail was by far the most common cause of severe weather damage.  In comparison, storms, floods and lightning all accounted for less than 20% – though they can also cause major damage, as the current weather conditions show.

Claims are made promptly, preferably by telephone

Almost 90% of those surveyed reported their severe weather damage to their insurance company. A third reported vehicle damage on the same day, while more than half did so during the same week the damage event took place. 4% took it easy, stating that they waited until the end of the storm season to report the damage.

The preferred method for reporting damage is the telephone (32%). Only half as many write emails (16%) or use the insurance companies’ online customer portals (13%). Interestingly, there are no differences in terms of age here.

High claim acceptance rate and greater impatience amongst the old-aged

Almost half of customers (44%) expect a response from their insurance company within 24 hours. However, it also emerged that the Swiss become more impatient as they get older: among those over 60, more than 60% expect a response within 24 hours, while the figure is just over 40% among the under 30s.

68% of respondents stated that their insurance had fully covered their severe weather damage. 28% received at least a partial payment, while only 4% were left empty-handed – the insurance companies did not cover their damage.


The above-mentioned survey was based on a quantitative online survey conducted with the market research institute Bilendi, Zurich. The survey period was 13 to 18 March 2024. The survey is representative in terms of age, region and gender (sample size: 1,071 people).

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