AIR Worldwide has updated the insurance loss estimates for the California wildfires. In late October, the risk firm said $3 billion. That’s the figure California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones used. A recent update from AIR says that figure will be closer to $10.5 billion.
Losses for the Tubbs, Nunns, Atlas, Redwood and Sulpher fires will hit $8 billion. The other $2.5 billion comes from the other, smaller fires. That figure is where Aon Benfield put its original price tag. Aon has now jumped it’s estimate to $10.5 billion as well.
Wherever the costs head, by the time all the bills are paid, this will be the most expensive fire event in history.
Now the search for causes is rising to the forefront of news coverage. Three lawsuits have been filed against Pacific Gas and Electric for negligence that the plaintiffs say caused the fires. The suits contend PG&E failed to trim trees and vegetation around power towers and power lines. They also maintain that the company failed to maintain aging equipment.
Thus, the wildfires happened and 43 people are dead and more than 8,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed.
PG&E spokesman Donald Cutler said not so fast. The determination as to what caused the fires has not been made yet and this is pure speculation. PGE — Cutler said — follows or exceeds federal and state requirements when it comes to brush clearance.
Source links: Artemis, Insurance Journal