Maui wildfire insured losses in range from $2.5bn – $4.5bn: Bloomberg Intelligence


Another estimate for the potential insurance and reinsurance market loss from the devastating Lahaina wildfire on the island of Maui, Hawaii, has come from Bloomberg Intelligence, whose analysts believe it could be as much as $4.5 billion.

Data from the property and casualty insurance equity analyst team at Bloomberg Intelligence suggests that the insurance market loss from the wildfires in Maui will come in above $2.5 billion.

They see the top-end possibility as $4.5 billion, giving a mid-point estimate of $3.5 billion.

That mid-point sits very close to the estimate released by catastrophe risk modelling specialist Karen Clark & Company, who said that the insured property loss from the wildfires would be around $3.2 billion.

Previously, analysts at RBC had said they expected the wildfire in Lahaina would drive an insurance and reinsurance industry impact of around $3 billion.

Officials had pegged the rebuilding cost of related to the wildfire that burned the historic town of Lahaina at an estimated $5.52 billion, with 2,207 structures reported to have been destroyed by the blaze.

As we’ve explained in our coverage of these terrible fires, there is significant uncertainty over insurance market losses, as on top of direct property damage and the destroyed structures, claims are also likely to come from smoke damage, burned vehicles, additional living expense claims, and buildings contents as well, which could all push the ultimate toll a bit higher for the industry.

How the fires started remains a subject of some contention and utility Hawaiian Electric has seen its share price plummet some 55% since the blaze, as some claims emerged that its equipment could have been responsible for these fires.

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That could have ramifications for the insurance and reinsurance industry, of course and will raise memories of the subrogation secured in California from utility PG&E after the devastating wildfires there a few years ago.

Estimates seem to currently be pointing to an insured loss of between $3 billion and $4 billion, but the additional costs of auto claims and other expenses could drive the ultimate higher, it seems.

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