What the California Wildfires Have To Do With the Rising Cost of Lumber

By: Denise Koslowsky

rising cost of lumber


We understand the reluctance to read yet another report about the wildfires that occurred nearly 3000 miles away. The fires that have devastated many areas of the West Coast may seem like they are out of sight, so they are out of mind but the truth is that when catastrophic losses happen in any area of the United States, they still have an effect on our insurance rates right here on the East Coast!


The California Wildfires

2020 was the largest wildfire season recorded in California’s modern history. 5 of the top 6 largest wildfires on record in the state of California occurred in 2020. More than four million acres were burned in California last year destroying over 10,000 buildings in their wake. The estimated cost of damages was over $12.0 Billion.


The Rising Cost of Lumber

We’ve been talking about the ever-rising costs of rebuilding a home that has been destroyed by water, wind, or fire damage. While there are many factors including the increase in demand, the increasing cost of skilled laborers, not to mention inflation. However, over the last 12 months, the highest driver in the rising cost of building materials is the cost of lumber. The cost of framing lumber is up 155% since 2008. One of the key factors is that many of the forests that supply lumber to the United States are located in California. When they were destroyed in the wildfires last year, it means the cost of construction material has ballooned.


What this means for you

The bottom line of all of this is that we want to make sure your current coverage is sufficient should your home be destroyed and need to be rebuilt. We want you to have the right insurance coverage for your needs. Not too much insurance or too little insurance, just the right insurance for you. We’ve been in business for 50 years and we learn from each claim we’ve walked through with our clients and we love to pass on the things we’ve learned to our clients. The coverage we recommend truly has your best interest at heart. We encourage you to take advantage of our knowledge and ask questions! Anytime you have a concern or are planning on making any changes to your home, please get in touch with us at 914-723-7100. We are here for you!

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