Townsville Tops List Of Qld's Disaster Damage Hot Spots
Townsville is ranked number one in the state when it comes to storm-related insurance claims.
With fires burning across the State in what has been an unprecedent start to the bushfire season, Suncorp is warning Queenslanders ‘not to be complacent’ about storm preparation.
“Queensland is known for its extreme weather events, and while parts of the State are experiencing severe drought and bushfires, it’s important not to forget about the looming storm season,” Suncorp spokesperson Joshua Cooney said.
New data released by Suncorp revealed Townsville and its surrounding suburbs was the worst affected region across the State for storm-related claims.
Mr Cooney said between July 2018 and June 2019, the insurer received more than 6,000 storm claims in Townsville, eight times more than the same period the year before.
“This is not a surprising result given the historic flood event in Townsville earlier this year. After the disaster there was a massive increase in claims for storm damage, with thousands of homes impacted by floodwaters, some completely destroyed or so badly damaged they were uninhabitable.”
The Sunshine Coast (3,104) and Gold Coast (3,032) regions trailed behind in second and third place with roughly half the number of storm claims compared to Townsville. This was followed by Brisbane South (1,449) and Brisbane North (1,368).
After examining data from the past three years, suburbs which consistently topped the list of storm damaged hotspots include; Annandale, Kirwan and Kelso in Townsville, and Buderim on the Sunshine Coast.
For three years running, Forest Lake and Greenbank in Brisbane South gained the unwanted titles of top hotspots for storm damage claims, as have Albany Creek and The Gap in Brisbane North. The Gold Coast region was an exception, with the worst affected suburbs all new entrants to the top hotspots list.
2018-19 Queensland storm hotspots
# Area No. of Claim Top 5 Hotspots
1. Townsville 6,112 Annandale, Idalia, Kirwan, Hermit Park, Kelso
2. Sunshine Coast 3,104 Gympie, Southside, Buderim, Jones Hill, Monkland
3. Gold Coast 3,032 Labrador, Runaway Bay, Southport, Nerang, Arundel
4. Brisbane South 1,449 Carindale, Birkdale, Forest Lake, Wellington Point, Greenbank
5. Brisbane North 1,368 Warner, Albany Creek, The Gap, Bracken Ridge, Ashgrove
“In the past 12 months we’ve seen the devastation of summer storms, but even small-scale events can have a big impact,” Mr Cooney said.
“Ensure you keep up general maintenance around the home, check the condition of your roof and replace any damaged or missing tiles. Remember that if you need to make a claim for storm damage, insurance won’t cover you for any pre-existing damage.
“There are many things people can do around the home to better protect their property and family but it’s critical that Queenslanders undertake preparation works now as waiting until a storm is bearing down on your property is just too late.”
Top tips for preparing your home for storm season:
- Trim overhanging trees and branches
- Clean out gutters and downpipes
- Secure or put away any loose items outside
- Check your roof is in a good condition
- Get hold of documents like marriage certificates and wills and put them in something watertight
- Take photos of any important receipts or precious items
- Check your insurance is strong enough to cover you in the event of a storm - don’t be underinsured or out of date
- If your area floods, check where there’s high ground and get to know where your community shelters and meeting points are.
For more great tips on how to prepare for storm season go to www.suncorp.com.au/stormseason