SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Insurance claims from last year’s deadly California wildfires have reached $11.8 billion, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said Wednesday, making it the most expensive series of wildfires in state history.
The staggering number exceeds the total insurance claims from the top 10 previously most costly wildfires in California.
Before last year, California’s most expensive single fire was the 1991 Oakland Hills fire that prompted $2.7 billion in claims in today’s dollars.
Nearly $1.8 billion of the 2017 insurance claims stem from fires that swept through Southern California in December. The rest is from a series of fires in Northern California’s wine country in October.
Jones said the two firestorms damaged or destroyed 32,000 homes, 4,300 businesses and more than 8,200 vehicles, boats and other equipment. Dozens of people were killed.
The totals do not include insurance claims related to mudslides that buried homes and vehicles in Montecito when torrential rain fell on hillsides burned in the December fires.
The figures for Southern California are likely to grow as more people get through the time-consuming process of filing a claim.