20 December 2021

NRMA reports record weather-related house claims for spring

| Max O'Driscoll
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SES crew repairing a roof

The ACT SES has had a busy period as of late. Photo: ACT ESA Facebook.

With record rainfall, it’s no surprise that spring 2021 also resulted in record home claims for weather damage across the east coast of Australia. There were just under 10,000 home claims for weather damage in spring, 3,000 claims – or 35 per cent – above average for the season.

In the ACT, Canberra CBD was the hardest hit area with 3.1 per cent of all weather-related claims. Kambah and Calwell were close behind (3 per cent), while Narrabundah accounted for 2.6 per cent of all claims.

Over the entire region, 52 per cent of all home claims were caused by weather damage, 7 per cent higher than an average spring period. Storm claims were almost 50 per cent higher as a whole.

Motor claims caused by severe weather were down 42 per cent on spring averages.

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As for the sources of house claims, manager of weather services at NRMA Insurance Peter Chan said there was an increase in water coming through roof cavities and damage related to fallen trees. Hail damage was down compared with previous spring periods.

“We had the wettest November on record for many parts of eastern Australia, so it has been a very wet period already, and with the La Niña conditions that have been declared by the Bureau of Meteorology late last month, we expect La Niña conditions to persist throughout the summer months,” said Mr Chan.

“This means that the chance of rainfall and storms will be higher than average, so we do ask people to be more vigilant than normal with the wetter periods coming up.”

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The recent run of wild weather has seen increased concern regarding natural disasters and climate change.

Around 83 per cent of the surveyed ACT residents are worried natural disasters are becoming more frequent and severe, up from 79 per cent in winter, and 90 per cent believe climate change is making severe weather and natural disasters worse, up from 86 per cent in winter.

Also from this survey, less than half (45 per cent) said they had prepared their home and family for a severe weather event, and 49 per cent, which equates to 80,000 households, said they are not ready to respond to severe weather in their suburb.

ACT State Emergency Services recommend taking the following eight steps to prepare your house and family:

  • Secure outdoor items that can blow around in strong winds
  • Clean your gutters, downpipes and drains regularly to prevent blockages
  • Trim trees and branches that could potentially fall on your home or property
  • Fix any damage to your roof, including broken or missing tiles
  • Make a plan for your family that outlines what you would do in an emergency
  • Prepare an emergency kit with essential items in case you lose power or need to leave home in an emergency
  • Listen to the local radio and other media for information, updates and advice
  • Check your insurance policy is current and adequate.

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