“The NSW Rural Fire Service has been busy back-burning and working hard to control a number of out-of-control blazes, and we haven’t even reached the peak summer bushfire season yet,” said AgriRisk Managing Director, John van der Vegt.

“This trend is playing out all over the world, and the insurance industry has recently asked itself if this is the new normal.  Opinions vary, but commentators agree that climate change and the drought in NSW is having an impact,” he said.

According to Insurance Council of Australia GM Policy Risk and Disaster Karl Sullivan, conditions in NSW this winter are unusual but not unprecedented.  He told insurancenews.com.au that the severe drought has undoubtedly heightened fire risk, and the industry is on alert. However, insurers are yet to notice a trend of increasing bushfire claims.

“The climate is changing, there is no doubt about that,” he says. “But saying this is the new normal and we can expect every year to be like this is going too far,” he said.

This story was adapted from insurancenews.com.au.