NRMA Insurance reveals wild weather data, as Storm Season begins

The latest NRMA Wild Weather Tracker records 35,000 storm and hail home claims over past year.

The latest NRMA Insurance Wild Weather Tracker (the Tracker) reveals the huge impact of storm damage on the nation’s East Coast, with nearly 35,000 storm and hail home claims received in the past 12 months – amounting to almost 60% of all home claims.

The Tracker monitors severe weather claims received by NRMA Insurance in communities across NSW, QLD and the ACT and is released after every season to help people prepare and protect themselves from wild weather.

While the East Coast experienced a quieter than usual winter, Storm Season is fast approaching, and the latest edition of the Tracker highlights the significant impact of storm and hail damage and the importance of getting prepared.

The Tracker reveals that 81 per cent of all storm-related home claims received by NRMA Insurance over the past 12 months occurred during Storm Season from October to March (2020-21).

We’ve created the Tracker to help communities understand that wild weather can happen at any time. No two seasons are the same and as our claims data shows, even low scale weather events can have a big impact.

Luke Gallagher

NRMA Executive General Manager Direct Claims

NRMA Insurance research on community attitudes to disaster preparedness also found Queenslanders consistently felt more prepared than their counterparts in NSW and the ACT. Central Queensland was the most prepared region on the East Coast (going up five points to a self-assessed score of 77/100), while Sydney’s eastern suburbs was once again the least prepared region (56/100).

Storms still wreaking havoc across the East Coast – Wild Weather Tracker data

Across NSW, QLD and the ACT, storm and hail caused considerable damage in the 12 months to 31 August, accounting for:

  • 59% of all NSW home claims – on average for the state since 2015-16
  • 55% of all QLD home claims – well above the six-year average of 45%
  • 45% of all ACT home claims – down on six-year average of 58%

Newcastle and the Hunter Valley was the NSW region hardest hit by storms and hail, while the Gold Coast was most impacted in Queensland and Kambah saw the most claims in the ACT. 

“While it was a mild winter, we’re expecting a wetter than usual spring on the East Coast, so now is the time to be taking practical steps to prepare for storms and wild weather,” said Mr Gallagher.

“With many Australians spending more time at home due to the pandemic, we are reminding people to put aside some time to get their home disaster ready before the next storm hits. This gives you the best opportunity to protect your loved ones and property from a severe weather event.” 

Australians are increasingly worried about the impact of extreme weather – but more people than ever plan to take steps to prepare

The Tracker shows ACT residents are the most worried (79%) that natural disasters are becoming more frequent and severe (compared to 72% in NSW and 62% in QLD).

Encouragingly, the research also reveals that more people than ever plan to prepare for severe weather, with nearly two-thirds of Queenslanders (65%) and residents in NSW (61%) and ACT (62%) planning to take steps to prepare their homes in spring.

“It’s great to see that more people than ever plan to take steps to prepare. With more rainfall expected in spring, completing simple jobs around the house now can help prevent storm damage in the months ahead,” Mr Gallagher said.

“We know that the pandemic continues to challenge many people and communities across the country and as we approach storm season, we stand ready to support our customers with any help they need should the unexpected unfortunately happen.”