The Insurance Information Network of California has confirmed that at least 22,700 claims filed from October’s Southern California fire and wind storms. The tally includes at least 2,000 insurance claims for damage stemming from the wind storms that fueled wildfires nearly a month ago. The organization estimates that insurers will pay at least $1.6 billion for wind and fire damage to homes, farms, vehicles and businesses.
“Although the wildfires did not burn as many homes as the firestorms of 2003, they have already resulted in a greater number of insurance claims,” IINC said. “This was likely caused by the mass evacuation of San Diego County, which resulted in increased claims for additional living expenses. Homeowner policies often pay for hotel costs prompted by a mandatory evacuation.”
Based on the survey data, IINC said wildfires that burned many of the same areas in 2003 resulted in more losses. The 2003 fires burned more than 3,600 homes and resulted in 19,100 insurance claims worth more than $2.2 billion after inflationary adjustments.
At 2,900 homes lost and $2.4 billion in insurance claims paid in 2005 dollars, the Oakland Hills fire remains at this point the most destructive single brushfire in California history.
IINC is a non-profit, non-lobbying insurance trade association dedicated to helping consumers understand insurance and safety issues. For more information on the fires, visit www.iinc.org.
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