15 October 2019

Nearly two-thirds of NSW residents concerned about the impact of climate change as storm season hits the state.

New NRMA Insurance data reveals that NSW experiences one of its most intense storm seasons in years, with 61% of all home claims coming from storm damage1 in 2018–19, while 40% of NSW residents admit they don't prepare their home for storm season.

Sydney's Hills District, Western Sydney and the Central Coast were the hardest hit by storms last year. The months of November 2018 (63% of all home claims), December 2018 (86% of all home claims) and March 2019 (75% of all home claims) were particularly bad for storm damage in NSW.

Car insurance claims resulting from storm and hail damage were also at record highs, with 15% of all car claims in 2018–19 related to storm damage – almost triple the previous five-year high of just 6% of car claims in 2016–17.

The claims data shows the growing impact storms are having on NSW homes and cars and coincides with the release of new research highlighting community concerns about the impact of climate change on the severity of storms.

New consumer research2 conducted by NRMA Insurance shows the community becoming increasingly concerned about the impacts of climate change on storms, revealing:

  • 61% of NSW residents surveyed are worried that climate change will make storms more frequent and intense in the future
  • 57% feel that climate change has already made storms worse
  • Almost half of NSW residents (47%) are worried about the impact climate change will have on their suburb or town
  • 41% are worried about the impact on their own property.

NRMA Insurance Manager for Safer Communities, Alex Mazzoni said: “With more severe storms hitting NSW, we anticipate more hail storms, more damaging winds and more intense rain.

“We know that two in five residents are yet to take steps to prepare their home for severe weather, so we're joining the SES to urge everyone to take the time to prepare their homes for storm season.

“Trim your branches, clear your gutters and secure loose items in your garden on your balcony. Severe weather can strike at any time, so these little actions can make a big difference,” Mr Mazzoni said.

NSW SES Acting Commissioner, Fatima Abbas, wants to remind and encourage communities to prepare for the storm season ahead.

“We have already seen how people have been impacted by severe storms with the NSW SES responding to over 3,500 jobs in the past four weeks,” Ms Abbas said.

“In these recent storms, we have seen countless trees blown over and, in some cases, entire roofs have been blown off homes and businesses. It is important that we know the things we can do to prepare our properties and loved ones for floods and storms.”

For more tips on storm preparation and flexible ways to volunteer with the NSW SES, visit their website: www.ses.nsw.gov.au.

NRMA Insurance has released a list of the top 10 most storm affected regions in NSW, and the top 10 most storm affected suburbs in Sydney.

10 most storm-affected regions in NSW

  1. Central Northern Sydney (e.g. The Hills District and Hornsby) – 17% of all storm claims
  2. The Central Coast – 11% of all storm claims
  3. Greater Western Sydney (e.g. Blacktown and Penrith) – 11% of all storm claims
  4. South-West Sydney (e.g. Fairfield-Liverpool) – 8% of all storm claims
  5. Macarthur and Campbelltown – 7% of all storm claims
  6. Newcastle and The Hunter – 5% of all storm claims
  7. St George and Sutherland Shire – 4% of all storm claims
  8. Mid-North Coast (e.g. Coffs Harbour, Taree, Kempsey) – 4% of all storm claims
  9. Eastern Suburbs of Sydney (e.g. Randwick and Bondi) – 3% of all storm claims
  10. Wollongong and Illawarra – 3% of all storm claims

10 most storm-affected suburbs in Sydney

  1. Berowra Heights
  2. Castle Hill
  3. Chipping Norton
  4. West Pennant Hills
  5. Baulkham Hills
  6. Casula
  7. Quakers Hill
  8. Berowra
  9. Moorebank
  10. Glenwood

The official storm season runs from October through to March and NRMA Insurance, in conjunction with the NSW SES, has developed a simple checklist to help people get ready and prepare for Storm Season. For more information, visit www.ses.nsw.gov.au.

1 Based on NRMA Insurance home claims data sourced for FY 2018–2019.

2 Survey of 1,006 NSW residents conducted in September 2019.

Media hotline number: 02 9292 9742.