Hawaii wildfires cause second highest losses to the insurance industry in the state

Lahaina from the sky

The total covered losses are still climbing on Maui island and will reach the state’s second highest.

The total losses the insurance industry is on the hook for due to the Hawaii wildfires on Maui island are expected to reach the second highest in the history of the state, according to modeling cited by a recent Reuters report.

The rapidly moving blaze began last week and has devastated the historic resort town of Lahaina.

Lahaina has been particularly hard-hit by the blazes. A historic resort town today, it was once the Hawaiian Kingdom’s capital city.


The catastrophe modeling was provided by the Karen Clark & Company (KCC) firm. They predict that the insurance industry will have faced higher insured damage only one other time in the history of the state.maui fire 2023 and the insurance industry losses

The only time insured losses in the state were higher than those left behind by these massive wildfires was in 1992, when Hurricane Iniki struck, said KCC, which added that figures were adjusted based on current property values.

The insurance industry will be facing claims for all forms of covered properties, autos, and more.

According to estimates from KCC, the total burned area is currently around 2,200 at the time this article was written. About 3,500 buildings were within the fire perimeter.

Through last week and the weekend, Maui search teams were combing through Lahaina’s burnt areas, looking for more victims. Dozens upon dozens of lives have already been confirmed as lost.

maui fire 2023 cars
Image Credit, Wikipedia

In its weekly catastrophe report, insurance industry broker Aon said that the extreme losses to homes, businesses and other types of Lahaina structures were only the start, but that economic and insured losses would cut far deeper due to the massive disruption to Maui tourism, which is a significant part of the local economy.

Moody’s Analytics has forecasted that the total damage to the economy in Hawaii could be between $3 billion and $7.5 billion.

“The price tag is astronomical in the context of Maui’s size, as annual output is about $10 billion,” said Moody’s Analytics economists Adam Kamis and Katie Nied, who authored the firm’s research report on the subject.

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