American Property Casualty Insurance Association


The past few years have seen some of the most destructive wildfires in U.S. history, with more than 52,000 wildfires charring 8.5 million acres.

In 2018, California was particularly hard hit. For residents in wildfire-prone areas, 2018 served as an important reminder to financially and physically prepare for wildfires. Wildfires alone caused more than $13 billion in insurance claims in 2018.

California isn’t alone in facing wildfire risks, even though it has been the location of eight of the ten most costly wildfires in the U.S. The Camp Fire, which burned through Paradise, CA, burned more than 18,000 structures—in just one fire.

Wildfires are possible in any place where dry, hot conditions are present—so in locations where there is drought, wildfires present a threat. Windy conditions exacerbate fire potential and can cause them to spread more quickly.

Each year, homes and buildings are destroyed by wildfires, with billions of dollars in property losses.  Wildfires can last for weeks, destroying homes and leaving communities vulnerable to secondary tragedies, such as mudslides.

We all need to be active insurance consumers, which means calling your agent or company yearly to discuss your coverage needs. The two most important financial preparation steps that can be taken include updating your insurance and making a home inventory.

There’s more wildfire information available at Stronger California.