Coffs Coast among NSW's storm damage hotspots
THE Coffs Coast and the wider Mid North Coast area accounted for 5% of all household insurance claims made in New South Wales in 2016/17.
After storm events earlier this year a host of local claims were lodged on the Coffs Coast seeing the region make the Top 10 list of worst hit regions.
Over half (52%) of all home insurance claims in NSW over the past financial year were a result of storm damage, NRMA Insurance has revealed.
During the months of February (80% of all home claims that month) and March 2017 (72% of all home claims that month) were particularly bad for storm damage in NSW.
Despite the damage that storms consistently cause in NSW, less than 1 in 10 (9%) residents in the state believe storms are the biggest threat to their property, compared to 41% who rank theft and crime as their number one concern, the insurer has found.
The 10 most storm-affected regions in NSW (by ABS region segmentation) were:
1. Northern Sydney (e.g. Baulkham Hills, Hornsby) - 39% of all storm claims
2. Illawarra - 7% of all storm claims
3. The Northern Beaches (e.g. Manly, Pittwater) - 7% of all storm claims
4. North Western Sydney (e.g. Blacktown, Penrith, Blue Mountains) - 6% of all storm claims
5. The Hunter - 5% of all storm claims
6. Richmond-Tweed (e.g. Lismore, Ballina, Byron Bay) - 5% of all storm claims
7. Mid-North Coast (e.g. Coffs Harbour, Taree, Kempsey) - 5% of all storm claims
8. Far West NSW (e.g. Dubbo, Broken Hill) - 3% of all storm claims
9. Gosford-Wyong - 3% of all storm claims
10. South-Eastern NSW (e.g. Young, Eurobodalla and Bega Valley) - 3% of all storm claims
"It's concerning that NSW residents underestimate the impact of storms. Together with the NSW SES, we're urging everyone to take the time now to prepare your home, business and community for severe storms," Ramana James, Head of Shared Value for NRMA Insurance said.
"Despite NSW experiencing its driest September on record, October marks the start of storm season and we have already seen severe storms strike many parts of the state.
"Severe weather can strike at any time and preparation is key to limiting damage. Little acts like trimming branches, clearing your gutters and securing loose items in your garden or balcony can make a big difference when severe weather strikes."
The research conducted by NRMA Insurance also revealed that only one in five (21%) of NSW residents regularly maintain their home in case a storm hits. In addition, only a third (33%) have an emergency plan, and even less (31%) have an emergency kit ready in case they need to quickly evacuate their home.
"During the last storm season, NSW SES volunteers responded to over 20,000 storm and flood related calls for assistance, however many of these could have been prevented," NSW SES Commissioner Mark Smethurst said.
"People can be proactive now by preparing their homes, having an emergency kit ready and making an emergency plan. These steps are very simple, but incredibly effective in helping prevent injury and damage during storms."