There's just one month left in the hurricane season, and not a single major storm has made landfall in the U.S., but property casualty insurers aren't off the hook entirely: The driest brush in years has sparked wildfires throughout Southern California, causing upwards of a billion dollars in damage.As terrible as this week's fires have been, they aren't the biggest this year. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, Idaho has suffered the most, with 1.98 million acres burned in wildfires so far. As of Wednesday, California ranked a distant second at just over 1 million acres, although that figure is no doubt changing rapidly. And the damages in California are likley to be bigger, since it is much more densely populated. Montana, Nevada and Utah round out the top five states in terms of acres burned. Exposure in the five Western states that have suffered the most fires so far this year is highly concentrated, with only three insurers on the hook for half of all of the homeowner risk.
|Insurers with Most Exposure to Fire-Prone States|
|Source: TheStreet.com Ratings|