Insurers are bracing for a huge damage bill as the scale of the destruction wrought by massive bushfires across five states slowly emerges.
The Insurance Council of Australia says that 3,870 claims for A$294m ($206m) have been received since September.
More than 1,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged by fire that has swept through large parts of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland and Tasmania in recent weeks, reported Canberra Times. About 72% of the claims are from New South Wales, 18% from South Australia and 5% each from Victoria and Queensland.
The financial toll is expected to grow rapidly as conditions ease and emergency services, building impact assessment teams, residents and insurance assessors gain access to burnt out areas and begin estimating the damage.
Major insurers IAG and Suncorp said it is impossible to predict the total number of claims that would result from this bushfire season and that it was too early to measure the material impact, if any, they would have on profits and premiums.