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California's wildfire losses are likely to be billions of dollars: Moody & # 39; s



Ongoing California fires are likely to result in billions of dollars in insured losses following damage to commercial and residential properties, Moody & # 39 ;s Investors Service Inc. said in a report on Wednesday.

Some commercial real estate insurance companies will also pay interruptions in company claims and the increased demand for construction work and materials after the fires have the potential to increase the insured losses higher, Moody & # 39 ;s said. Policyholders will face increased rates and non-renewals as severe wildfires are likely to continue, driven in part by climate change, Moody & # 39 ;s said.

As of August 25, nearly 1,800 homes and commercial properties had been damaged or destroyed by wildfires, resulting in more than 1

.5 million acres burned and at least seven fatalities, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and others. agencies. Insured losses to date are about $ 1.5 billion, based on an average Moody & # 39 ;s said. $ 1966,000 per structure,

However, there are significant variations around this estimate due to the high value of houses and commercial real estate in the affected areas, Moody & # 39 ;s said.

The leading commercial fire insurance companies in California 2019 based on direct written premiums for fire and commercial activities with multiple hazards were Farmers Insurance Group ($ 736 million), Travelers Cos. Inc. ($ 417 million), Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. ($ 364 million), Chubb Ltd. ($ 266) million), Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. ($ 250 million) and State Farm ($ 245 million), according to Moody & # 39; s.

As of August 25, the most destructive fires have been the LNU Lightning Complex in Napa and surrounding counties, the CZU Lightning Complex in Santa Cruz County and the SCU Lightning Complex, mainly affecting the hills west of Silicon Valley, Moody & # 39 ;s said.

In 2018, real estate / damages insurance companies paid out $ 13 billion in losses due to California's delinquency, after $ 12 billion in losses in 2017.

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