Claims From CA Wildfires Near $12 Billion
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said on Jan. 31 that the 2017 wildfires generated $11.8 billion in insurance claims, exceeding the total claims from the top 10 previously most expensive wildfires in the state. Nearly $1.8 billion of the claims stem from fires sweeping through Southern California in December, with the remainder from a series of fires in Northern California’s wine country in October.
The staggering number exceeds the total insurance claims from the top 10 previously most costly wildfires in California. Before last year, California’s most expensive single fire was the 1991 Oakland Hills fire that prompted $2.7 billion in claims in today’s dollars.
Jones said the two firestorms damaged or destroyed 32,000 homes, 4,300 businesses, and more than 8,200 vehicles, boats, and other equipment. The totals do not include insurance claims related to mudslides that buried homes and vehicles in Montecito when torrential rain fell on hillsides burned in the December fires. The figures are likely to increase as more claims are processed.