By Emma Thelwell, ninemsn Money, 9 February 2009
The devastating bushfires in Victoria have surpassed the 1983 Ash Wednesday blazes to become the worst natural disaster in Australia's history.
At least 750 homes have been razed to the ground and more than 330,000 have been completely burnt out by the ferocious path of the bushfires.
- The government urges victims not to worry if their insurance documents have been damaged or destroyed by the fires. Insurance companies keep records electronically and will only require the policyholder’s name and address.
- If you are unable to identify your insurer you can contact the Insurance Ombudsman Service (IOS) on the toll free number 1300 780 808. IOS will be able to provide advice and assistance with identifying your insurance company.
A special insurance task force has been set up to help people who have lost their homes.
Insurance Council of Australia chief executive Kerrie Kelly said insurers already had call centres operating to help policy holders get the claims process underway quickly.
"As access to affected areas is opened, insurance assessors will be on the ground," Ms Kelly said.
The ICA said it was too early to estimate the total bill and number of claims from the fires.
Donating to the Bushfire Appeal Fund
You can donate to The Bushfire Appeal Fund by calling 1800 811 700 or by logging on to the Bush Fire Appeal website
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