IAG releases hail fact sheet as storm season arrives

IAG releases hail fact sheet as storm season arrives

IAG whose brands include NRMA Insurance, CGU, WFI, and Rollin’, today released its Hail Fact Sheet as Australia enters its annual severe thunderstorm season. The latest installment in its series of severe weather fact sheets, the Hail Fact Sheet is aimed at raising community awareness on how to best prepare for and protect against the impacts of hail.

Of all the severe weather events, hail because it forms rapidly, can cause concentrated and significant damage. There is often little advance warning to communities that a hailstorm is forming, leaving people unprepared and vulnerable to significant damage to their vehicles and properties.

The 1999 Eastern Sydney Hailstorm ($5.57 billion in insured losses normalised to 2017 values) is one of the costliest natural disasters in Australia’s history.

Hailstorms are likely to become more frequent and intense in Australia, propelled by a warming climate, with large parts of southern and eastern Australia most at risk. This was highlighted in the research report ‘Severe Weather in a Changing Climate – 2nd Edition’1 launched by IAG and the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in September 2020.

The 2022 / 2023 summer is likely to see some significantly intense hail events, according to IAG Atmospheric Scientist and Executive Manager of Natural Perils Mark Leplastrier:

“We are now entering the most active part of the year for damaging hailstorms. The risk of damaging hail events should rapidly grow through November, peaking through the summer months, highlighting the need for people and communities across eastern and southern states to prepare ahead of time for potential severe thunderstorm impacts.”

Currently, the area inland from the south-east Queensland coast down to the north-east of New South Wales has the most damaging hail events.

With a warming climate, the risk of severe hailstorms will likely grow in the following major capital cities:

  • Brisbane
  • Sydney
  • Canberra
  • Adelaide
  • Perth
  • Melbourne

The most at-risk areas will extend southwards through NSW, to include the inland region from the Hunter River, down through central and southern highlands, and into central and eastern Victoria.

A detailed analysis of our claim data has been used to develop the Hail Fact Sheet, which people are encouraged to familiarise themselves with. It provides tips on how to make homes more resilient to hail, with water entering through the roof or window frames causing the most damage during hailstorms.

The Hail Fact Sheet recommendations to protect houses and assets include:

  • Roof sarking, a protective layer under roof tiles which prevents or reduces rain getting into houses in the event the roof is damaged by hail
  • Storm shutters on windows to prevent damage and water ingress
  • For new house builds, installing wider eaves to reduce chance of damage to windows
  • Enclosing carports to help reduce hail entry

Additionally, there is advice on steps to take when a hailstorm is imminent, how to stay safe, and useful contacts following a hailstorm to assist with repairs.

1IAG Report – Severe Weather in a Changing Climate 2nd Edition

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