March 6 (Reuters) -

Australia's corporate regulator said on Wednesday it issued a letter to the country's general insurance firms asking for improvement in insurance claim handling practices, especially in response to severe weather events.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) said general insurers are responsible for acting "efficiently, honestly, and fairly" to resolve such claims.

The letter comes as La Nina-induced weather conditions impact several parts of Australia for a fourth consecutive year, resulting in a huge jump in insurance claims.

"ASIC expects to see a better response by the industry to the events that have occurred during this summer and more focus by insurers on resolving any outstanding claims related to flood events that occurred in 2022," the regulator said.

"This is an area of continued focus for ASIC, and addressing misconduct in insurance claims handling is a key enforcement priority for ASIC this year," it said.

Last year, the commission found insurers, including Insurance Australia Group, QBE Insurance and Suncorp, faced undue pressure due to inclement weather events during January to March 2022. (Reporting by Poonam Behura in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Sonia Cheema)