A huge amount of $9 billion were the projected insurance claims from the recent spate of California wildfires, including one ranked as the most deadly and destructive in state history.
The figure was released by state insurance commissioner and said that the figures are expected to grow, as reported on Wednesday.
The claims, so far, fall short of the record $12 billion in wildfire-related insured losses sustained in California in 2017, most of that from more than a dozen blazes that swept a large swath of wine country north of San Francisco Bay, killing 46 people.
This year, the Camp Fire that erupted on Nov. 8 has accounted for the bulk of the claims, just over $7 billion of the total.
The “bush fire” was increased by wind that quickly incinerated most of the Sierra foothills town of Paradise, about 175 miles (280 km) north of San Francisco, destroying 18,500 homes and businesses and killing 86 people.
The casualty toll stands as the greatest loss of life from a single wildfire on record in California, and the highest from any U.S. wildfire during the past century.
A pair of smaller blazes that broke out at about the same time in Southern California, the Woolsey and Hill fires, killed three people and destroyed some 1,500 structures and forced the evacuation of thousands in the Malibu area west of Los Angeles.
The insurance commissioner put preliminary insurance claims from those two fires combined at more than $2 billion, bringing the total for all three of last month’s blazes to $9.05 billion.
The tally reflects losses for residential and commercial coverage, as well as for motor vehicles, agriculture, machinery and other assets, the Insurance Department said.
“The devastating wildfires of 2018 were the deadliest and most destructive wildfire catastrophes in California’s history,” Commissioner Dave Jones said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Citigroup Inc. analysts have projected the company’s potential exposure from the blaze could exceed $15 billion.