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Maui Wildfire Insurance Claims Reach $1.35B

Preliminary data, which is current through Sept. 30, shows that more than 6,079 residential property and personal motor vehicle claims were filed for losses in West Maui and Upcountry Maui.

A breakdown of the first insurance data for the Maui, Hawaii, wildfires shows more than 6,079 residential property and personal motor vehicle claims totaling more than $1.35 billion have been filed for losses in West Maui and Upcountry Maui.

The preliminary data released Monday by the state Insurance Division is current through Sept. 30, and was gathered from more than 200 property and casualty insurers and surplus lines carriers doing business in Hawaii that responded to a call for data from the department.

The data, which shows the depth of the losses and needs following the devastating Maui wildfires, was released the same day that Gov. Josh Green issued his eighth emergency proclamation relating to the wildfires, and added new amendments to help support survivors with housing and recovery, According to the preliminary breakdowns, the larger Lahaina fire on Aug. 8, the deadliest U.S. fire in more than 100 years, resulted in 3,732 residential property claims of which 1,683 were total loss claims. The claims totaled more than $1.29 billion and more than $660.4 million of them had been paid as of Sept. 30.

The West Maui fire also resulted in 1,985 personal motor vehicle claims of which 1,440 were total loss claims. Estimated total losses for personal motor vehicles were more than $25.3 million and more than $21.6 million had been paid as of Sept. 30.

The smaller Upcountry Maui fire resulted in 299 residential property claims of which 12 were total losses. As of Sept. 30, these claims totaled more than $32 million and more than $15.8 million had been paid. There were 63 personal motor vehicle claims related to the Upcountry Maui fire of which 25 were total loss claims. Estimated losses through Sept. 30 were $602,000 of which $510,000 had been paid.

State Insurance Commissioner Gordon I. Ito said in a statement, "Behind every claim is a person, a family member, a homeowner, or a business owner. The loss we suffered as a state is unimaginable, but the Hawaii Insurance Division has been and will continue to support the people of Maui as they begin rebuilding."

State insurance departments typically collect data after a disaster or catastrophic event. The data is used to determine the total number of claims and insured losses, monitor the solvency of domestic insurers, and improve the overall experience of policyholders. Updates to the insurance loss data will be posted to / ins /2023-wind-and-wildfire-damage-data-call.

Visit for resources on navigating the insurance claims process.

The state Insurance Division has been on Maui since August, and a representative is still available for in-person assistance at the Lahaina Disaster Recovery Center at the Lahaina Civic Center Gymnasium from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Green's proclamation, which is slated to run through Jan. 5, also provides state support for the recovery of the people on Maui. Two new key amendments in the emergency proclamation are aimed at enhancing housing opportunities for Maui residents, who are still displaced due to their losses.

The emergency proclamation now :
—Allows condominium owners and associations to exceed time limits in governing documents.
—Encourages hotels, motels and condominiums to make units available for the housing of those displaced by the wildfires by exempting such housing agreements from landlord-tenant statutes unless specified in a tenancy agreement.

The governor's office says other new amendments in the emergency proclamation will :
—Ease the burden of wildfire survivors who need to obtain records and evidence of identity, property and individual rights from the State Archives Division, by waiving fees for copying, certifying and other services.
—Allow liquor licensees of premises that are no longer in operation due to the wildfires to transfer their operations to a new premises within Maui County under temporary licenses or permits, provided that the licensees and their operations were in compliance with liquor laws before Aug. 8, 2023.
—Remove dairy and nondairy milk, ice and rentals of motor vehicles from the list of commodities subject to a prohibition against price increases on the island of Maui.

Assistance is also on the way for Maui public schools. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D- Hawaii, announced Monday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has allocated $53 million in federal funding to build a temporary school in Pulelehua to replace King Kamehameha III Elementary School, which was destroyed by the fires in August.

Schatz, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said in a statement, "This new funding will give King Kamehameha III students a new temporary school that will help provide them with the resources they need to learn, connect with friends, and heal. As the recovery effort in Lahaina continues, we'll keep working as hard as we can to bring home more federal resources."

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Monday that Waianae-based Native Hawaiian organization Pono Aina Management LLC was awarded a $53.7 million base contract Nov. 3 to construct the temporary school.

USACE is designing and overseeing the installation of modular buildings for the temporary elementary school campus.

Col. Jess Curry, USACE recovery field office commander, said in a statement, "The children of Lahaina have gone through a heartbreaking trauma, and the Corps of Engineers, the Department of Defense and our partners can now help the state bring back a bit of normalcy to these young lives.

"This school may be temporary but will stand as a reminder that despite the grief and loss, Lahaina's children will have a space to continue to learn, to dream and to thrive, " Curry said. "We are proud to be here for them in this moment."

(c)2023 The Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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