Insured Losses from November 2018 California Wildfires Top $12B

May 8, 2019

Insured losses from the most destructive wildfire month in California’s history climbed $614 million in the first three months of the year, pushing total claims over $12 billion as of April, the California Department of Insurance announced on Wednesday.

Together with the July 2018 fires in Northern California, last year’s overall insured losses topped $13 billion, according to CDI. The November 2018 wildfires were the most destructive in state history. The CDI announced in January that more than $11.4 billion in insured losses had been reported from the November 2018 fires alone.

The increase in claims came as homeowners and businesses continue to assess damages from the Camp Fire in Paradise and Butte County and the Woolsey and Hill Fires in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.

The CDI released the data in timing with Wildfire Preparedness Week from May 6-12.

“While last year’s tragic wildfires turned thousands of people’s lives upside down, insurance is helping to rebuild and recover,” Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said in a statement. “With these record-breaking fires still fresh in our memory, having the right insurance coverage for your home or business should be part of your preparation plan too.”

The latest data shows a slight increase in losses from January, when losses jumped 26 percent over the CDI’S initial report after the November 2018 fires. The number of claims filed increased by 4 percent from January, when claims jumped 16 percent over the Department’s initial report after the November 2018 fires.

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