San Diego damage estimates
Submitted by murph on 27 October 2007 - 7:59am. california | human disasters
The news is starting to read like the SoCal wildfires are winding down - at least a few of the fires are still going strong, but some of the early major burns are contained or over.
I was asked the other day what I thought this would do to insurance rates for the rest of us, as the insurers spread their losses. More, or less, than Katrina? Well, the average home destroyed in the California fires is probably worth a lot more than the average home destroyed by Katrina, but the concentrated urban buying power effect kicks in with impressive scale. Let's get the numbers from the sick-fascination-with-train-wrecks department:
From the AP on California:
In all, more than a dozen fires had raced across more than 500,000 acres -- or 781 square miles -- by Friday. At least three people and possibly seven have been killed by flames. Seven others died of various causes after being evacuated.
About 1,700 homes have been destroyed, and damage has been put at more than $1 billion in San Diego County alone.
And, from the ISO on Katrina:
After an extensive analysis of the flood and storm surge damage caused by Hurricane Katrina, AIR Worldwide estimates that property damage caused by water will total approximately $44 billion. . .AIR estimates the cost of flood damage to New Orleans will be $22.6 billion.
Clearly, San Diego can't hold a candle to Louisiana (and I don't expect they'd want to hold candles at all right now, considering...), and I expect global capital flows will swallow up the fire damage like so much noise. Either way, it's impressive just how quickly property damage can stack up in these disasters. When was the last time any discrete event caused a billion dollars of property damage in the midwest? (Aside from agricultural losses...)
Just out of curiousity. . .the Insurance Information Institute estimates that 9/11 causes $40.2 billion in insurance losses; $9.5b of that in property damage.