Wildfires and Insurance Update

Wildfires:

With the wildfires now over, it is time for recovery. Here’s the latest insurance news:

  • Technology Assistance: Due to evolving technology, insurance claims experts were able to monitor screens showing satellite images, photos from airplane flyovers and social media posts describing what was happening on the ground. According to Travelers, this allowed them to identify potentially impacted areas resulting in expedited claims.  Here’s How Insurer Deployed Technology to Expedite Wildfire Claims.
  • Official Figure on Insured Losses for 2018 California Wildfires Reaches $9BCalifornia Insurance Commission Dave Jones cautioned that the data is preliminary, and the figures traditionally rise after wildfires as more people gain access to properties and claims get refined. And that  he expects these numbers to rise.
  • Premiums will increase. The current destructive wildfires in California could pressure insurers operating in the state given their underwriting losses. According to S&P Global Ratings, the state’s regulatory structure “could make it challenging for insurers to obtain adequate future pricing.”A state ordinance limits any immediate rate hikes and instead spreads repayment of property and casualty insurance payouts over the next twenty years. Fire-plagued California won’t let insurers ‘cram’ through big rate hikes in 2019: State regulator (California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones).
  • Rebuilding in high risk wildfire and flood zones: The common question after a flood or fire is: Why are you building (or re-building) here?  According to climate and policy experts, the simple solution is to stop building homes in places that are likely to burn (or flood) and to make make homes that already exist in those areas a whole lot tougher.  Because the Climate Changed: California’s Wildfire Epidemic Is Blamed on Bad Building Decisions

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