Wednesday 16 January 2019

Deadly California wildfires cost $9bn in insurance claims

 

Wildfires ravaged California in November. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA
Wildfires ravaged California in November. Photo: Danny Lawson/PA

Kathleen Ronayne

Insurance claims from last month's California wildfires already are at $9bn (€7.9bn) and expected to increase, the state's insurance commissioner has said.

About $7bn (€6.1bn) in claims are from the Camp Fire that destroyed the northern California city of Paradise and killed at least 86 people, making it the deadliest US wildfire in at least a century. The rest is for the Woolsey and Hill fires in southern California.

Collectively, the fires destroyed or damaged more than 20,000 structures, the vast majority in and around Paradise. Authorities estimate it will cost at least $3bn (€2.6bn) to clear debris.

"The devastating wildfires were the deadliest and costliest wildfire catastrophes in California's history," said insurance commissioner Dave Jones. "Behind the insured loss are thousands who've been traumatised by unfathomable loss."

Irish Independent

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