Australia's IAG sees H1 2020 natural hazards claim costs at $280 mln

Jan 3 (Reuters) - Insurance Australia Group Ltd said on Friday it expects net claims costs from natural disasters for the first half of fiscal 2020 at A$400 million ($279.36 million), following the bushfires in the country.

In comparison, the insurer had logged net natural peril claim costs of A$414 million in the first half of 2019, which was already a sharp uptick from the previous year due to higher claims from a hailstorm in Sydney.

Bushfires so far this season have scorched more than 4 million hectares (10 million acres) of bushland and destroyed over 1,000 homes, including 381 homes destroyed on the south coast just this week. ($1 = 1.4318 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)