Winter weather insurance claims peak

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Damage caused to Australian homes and vehicles by wild winter weather in 2022 was the worst in six years, according to new insurance data.

More than 26,500 claims resulting from damaging weather events across the nation were received by NRMA Insurance, the highest number since 2016.

Some 62 per cent of all home claims were caused by wild weather, the insurer said - 13 percentage points above the winter average. A quarter of vehicle claims were due to the same reason.

An east coast low in early July contributed to the spike, with NSW battered by heavy rain which triggered major floods in the Hawkesbury-Nepean and Mid-North Coast regions.

Australia's west coast also bore the brunt of damaging winds at the start of August.

The impact of these events has left some three quarters of Australians concerned about the frequency and severity of wild weather, according to a national survey of 3500 people conducted as part of NRMA's research.

However, only 37 per cent of respondents have taken steps to prepare for wild weather in the past three months. That is 11 per cent fewer than at the same time last year.

The findings follow this week's declaration by the Bureau of Meteorology of a rare third consecutive La Nina weather event, which is expected to deliver another summer of heavy rain.

NRMA meteorologist Dr Bruce Buckley said with unseasonal severe weather forecast for the months ahead, all households needed to take steps to prepare.

"This is a rare coincidence of climate drivers that favour bursts of very heavy rainfall capable of producing flash and river flooding through spring and early summer," he said.

"The impacts of a changing climate means that wild weather can strike anywhere at any time but taking a few small steps to both reduce our level of risk and prepare for how we will respond can make a big difference."