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Moody’s: fires to cost insurers up to $8bn

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Wildfires that have burnt through nearly five million acres in California and other western US states, causing deaths and destroying more than 9,600 structures, will cost insurers as much as $8 billion, according to Moody's.

In a report, Moody's analysts said: “Overall, we currently estimate insured losses in the $5 billion to $8 billion range.

“Given the strong recent recovery in the housing construction market following the coronavirus shutdown in second-quarter 2020, the increase in demand for construction labour and materials following the wildfires and other recent catastrophes has the potential to lead to higher insured losses.”

Moody's estimates that 2020 is already the third-highest year for California insured wildfire losses after 2018 and 2017, when losses totalled $13 billion and $12 billion, respectively.

Facing the flames: firefighter Cody Carter battles the North Complex Fire in Plumas National Forest, California (Photograph by Noah Berger/AP)

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Published September 18, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated September 18, 2020 at 2:37 am)

Moody’s: fires to cost insurers up to $8bn

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