Catastrophe modeler RMS has estimated costs from both the Camp and Woolsey wildfires in California. The Camp wildfire shows $7.5 billion to $10 billion in damages while the Woolsey Fire is estimated between $1.5 billion to $3 billion. This brings the total of both wildfires estimated to be between $9 billion and $13 billion in damages.
The estimates are based on property and automobile damage, which includes both fire and smoke damages. The estimates also cover losses for businesses. This includes property damage as well as business interruption. Business interruption is the loss of income that any business has from having to close their doors.
The Camp Fire has burned through 151,000 acres, compared to the Woolsey Fire burning 96,949 acres. The Camp Fire has burned 11,713 homes and 472 businesses. It is considered to be the most destructive fire that California has ever experienced.
The California State Commissioner, Dave Jones, has requested insurers to expedite the claims so that survivors can start the rebuilding process. The commissioner previously declared an emergency situation so that insurers could use out-of-state adjusters. His request for expedition on claims asks insurers to be more lenient with deadlines and documentation so that payments can be made to policyholders more quickly.
According to the California Department of Insurance, Jones’ request would allow advanced funds for up to four months for living expenses. It would also allow policyholders to receive 25 percent of their policy limits for property as well as accelerate the clean-up process.
How does your insurance work for you in the case of a natural disaster? Not all disasters are covered in common property insurance policies. It is important that you are informed of your options and have the best policy for the region you are in. It is also important to know your options when it comes to business interruption. Business income insurance helps cover any loss in income from the closing of your business all the way through the rebuilding process. This insurance is designed to keep you from seeing a loss in profit and further debilitating your business.