Insured losses from 2018 California wildfires totals more than $11 billion


The cost of the damage in recent wildfires is rising; losses from November’s deadly fires have now topped $11-billion in insurance claims. 

“This is unprecedented for us.”

Totaling the insured damage from the deadliest and most destructive wildfire season is now in the hands of new State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara.

Lara announced Monday losses in the Camp, Woolsey and Hill fires in late 2018 are now at $11.4 billion, with the deadly fire in Paradise accounting for more than $8 billion of that.

The numbers rose from the preliminary report in December, showing total insured damages at $9 billion.

“We’re going to continue to see uptick in the fire losses. This is just for insured, obviously Cal Fire’s numbers have uninsured properties, big structural stuff, so we’re also monitoring all those issues as well,” said Lara.

Lara says on top of those three fires, other major 2018 fires including the Carr and Mendocino Complex Fires are responsible for nearly an additional $1 billion in insured losses.

He says insurance companies so far have paid out about half of the $12 billion from 2018 damages, and he anticipates payments to continue.

Lara says his office is working to address issues with homeowners in fire prone areas without insurance.

“We also want to make sure we’re looking at possible legislative solutions so that we can work with the insurance industry to make sure we’re helping to better inform our communities,” he said.

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