SGIO Release Warning - Winter Storms Not Finished With Us Yet

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SGIO is encouraging Perth households to prepare for more storm activity in September, with another major cold front due to pass through our region today.

Wind gusts in the 90-95km/h range should be fairly general and there is likely to be wind-related damage, generally from falling branches or the wind blowing something over

Home Insurance provider SGIO is encouraging Perth households to prepare for more storm activity in September, with another major cold front due to pass through our region today.

SGIO Principal Weather Research Analyst Dr Bruce Buckley said that widespread gale force winds were likely to extend across the south west of WA today.

"Wind gusts in the 90-95km/h range should be fairly general and there is likely to be wind-related damage, generally from falling branches or the wind blowing something over," Dr Buckley said.

"Regular maintenance through cleaning gutters, checking the roof for leaks and maintaining boundary fences will help reduce the risk of damage to properties from storm activity."

An earlier start to the winter storm season this year resulted in a jump in claims for storm damage to households in the metro area compared with last year according to new data from SGIO*.

From May 1st to August 31st SGIO received more than 4,200 Home Insurance claims for storm damage compared with nearly 3,000 for the same period in 2008, an increase of more than 40 per cent.

The majority of storm claims were for damage to fences from high winds, but claims were also made for damaged roofs as well as for vehicles and buildings hit by fallen trees.

SGIO Operations Manager Sandy Robinson said that SGIO had experienced a significant increase in claims during winter 2009 compared with claims numbers from the previous year.

"May was unusually a very busy month for SGIO with more than four times the number of claims for storm damage compared with May the previous year," she said.

"We also experienced a 50 per cent jump in Home Insurance claims in June compared with June 2008, while July and August also resulted in a steady number of claims for storm damage."

Dr Bruce Buckley said that the storm activity during the winter had been more severe than in 2008.

"The Perth metro area has experienced an increase in the frequency of high winds, tornados and days of rainfall in comparison to 2008," he said.

*Source: SGIO Insurance claims data 1 May - 31 August 2009

About SGIO
SGIO provides Car Insurance, Business Insurance, Home Insurance and more for Western Australia.

Insurance Australia Limited ABN 11 000 016 722 trading as SGIO
For many insurance products a Product Disclosure Statement is available from SGIO which you should consider before making decisions about those products.

Insurance issued by Insurance Australia Limited trading as SGIO 46 Colin St, West Perth, Western Australia 6005. sgio.com.au

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Rob Cory
SGIO
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