Calif. Wildfires Could Leave Behind $8B in Insured Losses: Aon Benfield

November 13, 2017

California’s historic wildfires may lead to as much as $8 billion in insured losses. That’s a record for insurers, according the October 2017 Global Catastrophe Recap from Aon Benfield’s Impact Forecasting.

The surge in October wildfires killed at least 43 people in California and injured 185. Impact Forecasting cited data from CalFire showing that nearly 9,300 structures were damaged, of which 8,560 were destroyed.

Underscoring the seriousness of the wildfires and their aftermath, the California Department of Insurance cited at least 19,000 residential, commercial and auto claims already filed, where payouts surpassed $3.32 billion. Impact Forecasting said the insured loss/payout number could hit $8 billion, however, as insurers process additional claims.

On an aggregated basis, this is the costliest insured wildfire event ever recorded, Impact Forecasting said. Nearly 24 different fires aggregated together as “the most damaging event on record in the state,” according to the report. Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, Solano, Butte, and Yuba Counties saw some of the worst damage.

As bad as the California fires were in October, a number of other weather events left substantial damage and insured losses, the report noted. Among them:

Source: Aon Benfield/Impact Forecasting