Cleanup has begun for the thousands of homes, businesses and other buildings destroyed in the devastating wildfires. Federal, state and local authorities are coordinating the work and cleanup is expected to be finished by early 2018.
Aon Benfield thinks eventually losses will hit $8 billion for the almost 9,000 buildings and homes destroyed. The fire also killed 43 people and injured 185 more. Aon’s conclusion is it’ll end up as the most expensive insured wildfire event in history.
The California Department of Insurance said 19,000 residential, commercial and auto claims have been filed to day and more than $3.3 billion has been paid out. That figure — Aon predicts — will rise.
What’s worrying authorities now is the rebuilding process. Many want stronger regulations about what can be built where and how buildings are built. The goal? When the next fire comes — and one will — the impacts of these fires can be avoided.
Or at the very least, minimized.
Researchers at the U.S. Forest Service and the University of Wisconsin say what happens after fires like this is urban growth that is even more dense than what was destroyed. This in spite of the fire risk.
However, rebuilding will not be as quick as one would expect. A high percentage — 35% — of the rebuilds in California after a fire is five years.
Source links: Reinsurance News, Associated Press, Insurance Business America