March 1990 hailstorm damage in Sydney, Australia

KE Andrews*, RJ Blong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


On 18 March 1990, an intense hailstorm in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia caused insured damage valued at A$314 million - the third most expensive loss event in Australian insurance history.

While damage was widespread with claims for buildings spread across more than 130 postcodes, 20% of the claims came from just two postcodes. The proportion of dwellings of brick construction that made a claim was significantly less than the proportion of policies for this type of construction. Fibro (fibre-cement), timber and aluminium-clad dwellings are more likely to sustain damage than brick buildings in this type of storm.

Hail caused the majority of damage to exterior building items while water damage more commonly affected interior building items and contents. While the repair of Interior building items such as ceilings and walls cost more than contents damage on average, the repair/replacement costs of contents contributed more to the total costs. Damage to window glass and roofs together made up more than 50% of the total claim.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-125
Number of pages13
JournalNatural Hazards
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1997


  • hailstorm
  • hail damage
  • hail insurance losses
  • thunderstorms


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