2018 California Wildfire Costs To Exceed $9 Billion

On November 8, 2018, two fires ravaged California. The Camp Fire, the deadliest fire in state history, killed 86 people, destroyed 18,804 buildings and burned 153,336 acres. It burned down the entire town of Paradise in Northern California. Affected most were families, with nearly 14,000 single-family homes were destroyed. The fire burned more than 500 commercial buildings and was contained in 17 days.

That same day, the Woolsey Fire burned through parts of Southern California. It spread through Los Angeles and Ventura counties, burning 96,949 acres. Three people were killed and 1,643 buildings were destroyed. The fire was contained in 13 days.

Given that many of these homes, businesses, and structures were covered by insurance, you can imagine that insurance companies will pay a pretty penny to homeowners looking to rebuild. In fact, the total costs could top $9 billion and reach as high as $13 billion

AIR Worldwide, a catastrophe modeling firm, estimates that the Camp Fire alone will cost insurance companies between $6 billion and $9 billion. Combined with the Woolsey Fire, the totals will reach $9 billion to $13 billion. This is the same range that RMS predicted in November. These estimates are based on take-up rates of nearly 100 percent since homeowners insurance policies in California automatically include wildfire damage.

AIR came up with these estimates with help from its AIRWildfire Model for the U.S. These estimates are based on last year’s exposures. There is a range of estimates due to several factors, including living expenses due to mandatory evacuations, ordinance losses, damage to individual structures, suppression efforts, loss of electricity, and damages due to smoke. Loss estimates include physical damage to commercial buildings, residential homes, and mobile homes, as well as their contents and automobiles.

Business interruption losses were also included in the estimates, as well as demand surge. This refers to the extra costs associated with increased labor, materials and services due to increased demand after a catastrophe. Not included in the estimates are losses to uninsured structures, losses to infrastructure and land, lost adjustment expenses and losses due to indirect business interruption.

These numbers alone are quite shocking, but industry data provider CoreLogic estimates that the total losses could be even higher. It estimates that both fires could result in losses ranging from $15 billion to $19 billion. The damages for the Camp Fire alone were estimated to be between $11 billion to $13 billion.

The insurers with the highest exposures in these fire areas include State Farm, Farmers Insurance, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Auto Club, and CSAA. Farmers expect more than $2 billion in claims. It has already received more than 9,000 claims from both fires. The company claims it is in a good position to compensate homeowners for the damages they incurred. A large percentage of those claims will be paid by reinsurers. The net result after taxes and reinsurance will be $159 million.

To compensate insured homeowners who lost their homes in the Camp Fire, State Farm has already paid more than $77 million in claims. For the Woolsey Fire, State Farm has paid $25 million in claims. On top of that, the insurer has paid $6.7 million in auto claims.

Many insurance company representatives just stepped foot onto the areas burned by the Camp Fire. Therefore, the actual damages could be much higher than the estimates. To estimates losses thus far, many insurance companies use drones to survey the damage. The California Department of Insurance will compile losses by insurance companies and make those numbers public knowledge in the coming months.

The California Wildfire Attorneys of Nadrich & Cohen and its legal teams continue to actively file cases on behalf of wildfire victims and their families. Don’t wait until it’s too late to make a claim, call us for a free consultation. Our team is available to answer your questions. Call us now at 1-800-718-4658.

Learn More...

January 2, 2019

California Public Utilities Commission Has Opened Investigation Against PG&E For Falsifying Reports

The California Public Utilities Commission has announced that they are opening ...

February 13, 2017

Bike Sharing Now Makes Touring Downtown Los Angeles a Breeze

Bike Sharing Now in Downtown Los Angeles Bike sharing has finally arrived in dow...

April 3, 2019

Los Angeles May See Bike Lane Barriers Soon

Riding a bike can be fun and while it can be a great form of exercise, it can a...

Do I Have A Case?

We offer free consultation. No office visit required, we will get back to you within 24 hours.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


What can we do for you?

  • Answer your legal question.
  • Provide a Free Case Evaluation.
  • Schedule an appointment.


Choose Us?

  • Available 24/7
  • Trusted Since 1990
  • Local to You
  • Recovered $350,000,000
  • 5 Star Reviews
  • Free Case Evaluation
  • VIP Service
  • No Win, No Fee

Latest Law Post

October 23, 2019

New California Law Extends Time For Filing Child Sexual Abuse Claims

On October 13, 2019, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law allowing victims of child sex abuse additional time to report the abuse and file lawsuits. A flurry of allegations of Catholic priest sexual abuse of minors, as well as former U.S. Olympic gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar’s 2018 conviction, led to the introduction of the legislation.

October 15, 2019

Zantac Recalled In All Markets

GlaxoSmithKline said on October 8, 2019 that it was recalling their popular heartburn medication Zantac in all markets as a precaution. This comes mere days after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found “unacceptable” levels of the carcinogen NDMA in the medicine.


We are Personal Injury Lawyers representing accident victims throughout California.
For 30 years, the law firm of Nadrich & Cohen, LLP has helped injury victims
obtain the compensation they deserve.