Fire insurance losses in California broke the $1 billion mark

fire insurance home

The payouts for claims for damage caused by two tremendous blazes in the northern part of the state were huge.

Two massively destructive wildfires in Northern California not only killed six people and caused thousands of residents to have to leave their homes behind, but they were also damaging enough to lead to over $1 billion in losses covered by fire insurance.

This represents a preliminary estimate that has now been released by the California insurance department.

These two different wildfires began burning in September, only days apart from each other. Throughout their life spans, they took down over 200 square miles to the north-northeast of San Francisco. These areas were primarily mountainous and mostly remote. The initial figures regarding covered fire insurance losses were first released earlier this week. They include the $700 million in covered damages that were caused by a wildfire – called the Valley Fire – that burned in the region of Lake County. It killed four people and incinerated nearly 2,000 buildings. Those included almost 1,300 homes.

If that fire insurance figure is accurate, then that would mean the blaze was the third most costly in state history.

fire insurance homeThat third place is based on the number of structures lost. In terms of insured losses, it is likely to be the fifth most expensive fire in state history.

The other fire, which burned in Calaveras and Amador counties, brought an additional $300 million in covered losses. It killed two more people and caused the destruction of over 800 buildings. That made it the seventh most destructive, in terms of burned structures, that the state has ever seen.

According to the state’s Insurance Commissioner, Dave Jones, in a statement he released on the subject, “A year-round fire season is California’s new reality,” adding that “Residents and communities, especially those in high-risk fire areas, must take precautions now before the next devastating wildfire strikes.”

This represents the first time the California Department of Insurance has released a damage estimate for those wildfires. The figures were based on the insurance claims that were filed from September through to the end of December. It will be at least February before a final figure is issued.

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