THE Hunter is the state’s worst-hit region on the storm front, NRMA claims data released on Friday reveals.
Port Stephens led the region, which made up a quarter of all storm claims for the insurer, with five of the top 10 suburbs for storm damage claims in the Hunter and Central Coast.
Nelson Bay and Corlette fell near the top of the pile while Salamander Bay, Soldiers Point and Berkeley Vale on the Central Coast also made the top 10 for most affected towns or suburbs.
The Mid-North Coast ranked second, with 21 per cent of claims, while the third-placed Central Coast made up just 8 per cent.
Last financial year more than 40 per cent of the insurer’s home claims in NSW related to storm damage, slightly down on the long-term average of 61 per cent of claims over the previous five-year period.
The proportion rises to more than half during October, January and December.
NRMA’s executive general manager safer communities Ramana James said it was concerning storm destruction remained underestimated. “While the effects of the drought in NSW have been well documented, it’s important people do not view the looming storm season as drought relief,” he said.
“Rain events and storm events are very different.
“Storms feature short, heavy bursts of rain that can cause flash flooding as well as violent winds and lightning strikes that can leave a trail of destruction in their place.
“We’re urging everyone whether you live in an apartment in a city or a house in a regional area, to take the time now to prepare for storm season.”
NSW State Emergency Service Commissioner Mark Smethurst said it took only small steps to reduce damage when dark skies loomed.
“During the last storm season, NSW State Emergency Service volunteers responded to over 18,000 storm and flood related calls for assistance, and up to a third of these could have been prevented,” Commissioner Smethurst said.
An NRMA behaviour study in NSW found only 15 per cent of people maintain their properly regularly compared to 31 per cent in Queensland.