Australia 2013 Bushfires: Insurance Incidence Claims Rise Above $42M, More Coming

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | January 8, 2013 3:26 PM EST

The Australian summer had been made more agonizing by the bushfires. The country's continued rising temperatures had been the crux of insurance companies as incidence claims have now surged by more than $42 million and yet more still likely to come in as the blazes unexpectedly occur with the dry weather. 

The figure, according to ABC News, was culled from claims filed by residents from Tasmania, where wildfires destroyed more than 100 homes over the weekend. As of press time Tuesday, firefighters are still trying to contain some 40 blazes across the southern island state.

As of 9:00am (AEDT) on Tuesday, more than 410 policy holders had filed claims before insurance companies in the state's south.

The ongoing fires in Tasmania, plus those in New South Wales and Victoria, are expected to inflate the calculation of property damage.

"We do stress though this is early days - we would expect many more claims to be lodged in the coming week as property owners return to their communities and get better ideas of the damage," Campbell Fuller from the Insurance Council of Australia told ABC News.

"We would stress though that people who are affected by the bushfires should contact their insurer as soon as they can and get that claims process rolling."

However, he told policy holders to be patient as assessors will only be able to enter fire affected areas once they have been declared safe.

"We hope that the actions of firefighters will help protect lives and properties, but experience shows us that bushfires and grass fires are unpredictable and cause widespread damage," Rob Whelan, council's chief executive, said in a statement.

Read more:

Australia 2013 Heatwave: January Series of High Temps Could Trigger New Record - BOM

Australia 2013 Bushfires: NSW Residents on Alert as Bushfire Goes Out of Control

First Bushfire Catastrophe Hits Australia in 2013

Bushfire Prone Australia: What to Do and Prepare

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