25 November 2019
Insured losses from the NSW and Queensland bushfire catastrophe have increased to $165 million from 1525 claims lodged with insurers, according to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).
The losses are expected to rise further as emergency crews are still working to contain dozens of new blazes in the two states. The council will update its figures on Wednesday.
IAG has received 703 claims from the catastrophe, a spokesman told insuranceNEWS.com.au this morning.
The latest bushfire catastrophe is the third to have been declared by the ICA in the past three months and is by far the costliest this year for the industry.
Scientists have linked the earlier-than-normal start of the annual fire season to global warming. They say Australia can expect longer and more severe bushfire seasons in the future as rising temperatures interfere with long-established climate norms.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has joined the call for the Coalition Government to take action to counter the effects of climate change.
He wants the Government to develop a climate adaptation action plan and investigate a national strategy for disaster preparedness as well as allocate more funding for research into mitigation and post-disaster response and recovery.
“The effects of climate change mean Australia is in uncharted territory,” Mr Albanese says in a letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“In my view, these circumstances require us, as leaders, to re-examine our nation’s preparedness for natural disasters.”
The NSW Rural Fire Service said this morning more than 1300 firefighters are battling to control 67 blazes including 25 out-of-control ones.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and the Federal Government have announced a joint $48 million relief package to help affected communities and businesses.