Storm damage at Urunga.
Storm damage at Urunga. Trevor Veale

From drought, fires to damaging storms

NSW has paid for its most intense storm season in decades, with the Mid North Coast the state's eighth most storm affected region, according to the NRMA.  

Coffs Harbour, Bellingen and Boambee featured among the region's top 10 suburbs for damage  during the 2018-19 financial year.   

Statewide 4% of insurance claims in NSW were lodged on the Mid North Coast.     

Data also showed that 61% of all home claims in NSW were the result of storm damage - the highest proportion since 2014-15.  

Car insurance claims resulting from storms, such as hail damage were more than double the long-term average, with 15% of all car claims in 2018-19 related to storm damage.

Floods in Coffs Harbour area 2009. 31 march 2019
Flooding on the Coffs Coast. Trevor Veale

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

"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.   

"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," NSW SES Acting Commissioner, Fatima 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."  

NRMA Insurance has also surveyed 1,000 policy holders showing  community concerns about the impact of climate change on storms.  

  •  61% of NSW residents thought climate change will make storms more frequent and intense in the future, while 57% feel that climate change has already made storms worse.
  •  Almost half of NSW residents (47%) are worried about the impact of climate change on their suburb or town in the future, while 41% are worried about impact on their own property. Storm season is underway and runs until March
  • 84% of NSW residents believe that preparing early helps to reduce the risk of storm damage - however, 4 in 10 say they don't prepare their home for severe storms.
  • NRMA Insurance and the NSW SES are urging residents to prepare for 'storm season' (which is now underway in NSW - October-March each year).


Storm damage to Bhangal family banana farm in Mackays road Coffs Harbour. Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate.
Storm damage to properties is seen every spring and summer on the Coffs Coast. TREVOR VEALE/ The


10 most storm-affected suburbs and towns on the Mid-North Coast in 2018-19 were:

1. Port Macquarie

2. Coffs Harbour

3. Taree

4. Wauchope

5. Kundabung

6. Bellingen

7. Gulmarrad

8. Harrington

9. Boambee

10. South Grafton

For more tips on storm preparation and flexible ways to volunteer with the NSW SES click here.