Victoria has entered the storm season and RACV is warning householders to be vigilant to reduce the risk of damage around the home.
Almost 60 per cent of all storm-related RACV home insurance claims in the past three years resulted from incidents in spring and summer.
RACV General Manager Insurance, Mark Geraghty said history shows that unstable weather patterns in the warmer months can bring damaging wind, hail and flash flooding, posing a risk to properties.
“Weather events such as we experienced in September this year are becoming more frequent and extreme and the resulting storms and floods are a major cause of costly damage.”
New RACV Insurance data shows that storm-related claims in 2015-16 cost more than $30 million, with most property damage claims lodged in January. The average cost of claims was $3,786; 28 per cent higher than the previous year.
Mr Geraghty said the statistics highlighted the volatility of weather in Victoria during spring and summer.
“The unpredictability was demonstrated in January when Geelong was struck by a freak thunderstorm which according to the Bureau of Meteorology dumped 42.4mm - almost double the city’s January rainfall, in about an hour,” he said.
“In that month, RACV received 2,040 storm-related insurance claims from across Victoria. Greater Geelong went on to register 874 storm-related claims in 2015-16, more than double the next highest local council area, Casey in Melbourne’s South East.”
Mr Geraghty said during the danger period there are several basic actions residents can take to reduce the risk of storm or flood damage.
These include securing loose objects around the property, keep gutters, downpipes and drains clear and checking your roof for any holes or loose tiles that need repair or replacement.
Mr Geraghty noted that being underinsured was also a risk to residents and property owners.
“Damage caused by storms can be extremely costly and inconvenient and it is important to ensure that you have the appropriate level of insurance to cover repairs or replacements.
“RACV home and contents insurance policies include flood, storm and storm surge cover as standard and provide cover for damage and loss caused by the impact of fallen trees and branches.”