Insured losses from the latest flooding in California are estimated at between $500 million and $1.5 billion, with total U.S. economic losses estimated at $5 billion to $7 billion, Moody’s RMS said Wednesday.
The estimated loss reflects the impact of inland flooding for the United States and includes damage to infrastructure, the Newark, Calif.-based disaster modeler said in a statement.
The overall economic loss estimate reflects damage to property, contents and business interruption, for residential, commercial, industrial, automotive and infrastructure assets, the statement said.
Damage to infrastructure is said to be extensive with state highways and local roads seeing the brunt of the damage due to a combination of flooding and mudslides.
Moody̵7;s RMS noted that only a relatively small portion of the economic damage is expected to be covered by insurance because fewer than 2% of California households have flood insurance.
California saw heavy rains, overflowing rivers, flooding, levee breaches, mudslides, downed trees, debris flows and heavy snow at high elevations, along with some wind damage, beginning Dec. 26 with a series of extratropical cyclones, Moody’s RMS said.
Extreme rainfall intensity in California led to three-week rainfall records in several locations in central California, with some locations receiving their annual average rainfall amounts in less than a month.