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Bushfires update: claims exceed 100

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Insurers have so far received about 120 claims from the bushfires in NSW and Queensland.

Figures put out last week by the Insurance Council of Australia have the losses at about $13.5 million from nearly 100 claims lodged with insurers.

The number of claims insurer IAG has received so far has risen to 73 for motor and property damage, a spokesman told today. Last week the insurer had about 39 claims submitted.

IAG Executive Manager Natural Perils Mark Leplastrier says natural disasters in Australia are increasing in frequency and severity. He says the bushfire threat is worsening as the climate changes.

“The bushfires we are seeing now are significant and are outside of the typical bushfire season,” he said.

“The increasing number of unseasonal or record extreme weather [events] is telling us an inescapable truth – that climate change is happening and that it will continue to impact our communities financially and socially.”

The NSW Rural Fire Service says today on its Twitter feed that as of 9am about 48 bush and grass fires are burning in the state – 11 of them being uncontained.

It says the north-east of the state is experiencing high fire danger today.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Queensland office predicts very high to severe fire danger tomorrow in the south-east as winds pick up.