The 2017 and 2018 wildfire seasons were a catastrophic shock to communities, legislators, and insurance companies. This was most evident in California, which suffered the largest and most destructive wildfires in state history. The aftermath of these disasters has led to the question of whether catastrophic wildfires will be the new normal for California and other fire-prone states and, if so, what can be done to mitigate them?
This paper discusses some of the ways in which insurers are educating their customers about wildfire risks, with the goal of creating resilient communities in high-risk areas and fostering the development of new tools and techniques to help build a more wildfire-resilient world.
The paper examines:
- Possible reasons the 2017 and 2018 California wildfire seasons may signal a new normal for wildfire risks.
- The challenges insurers face in a world with increasingly destructive wildfires.
- How insurance companies are responding to a world of increased wildfire frequency and severity.