The October wildfires that devastated northern California's Napa and Sonoma counties are expected to be the costliest wildfire loss in U.S. history, according to Aon Benfield. The latest insured loss estimate is $8 billion, and the overall economic losses are expected to be considerably greater. The impact on insurance company ratings may not be as severe, however.

A new report from Fitch Ratings says that, based on recent assessments, no U.S. reinsurance companies in its rated universe are expected to be downgraded as a result of losses from the California wildfires alone.

This season's string of natural disasters — including the California wildfires and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria — will make 2017 one of the costliest catastrophe loss years in U.S. history, with insured losses estimated to reach $70 billion to $100 billion. Researchers say, in some instances, insurers could ultimately report aggregate 2017 catastrophe losses at levels that strain capital and pressure ratings.

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Danielle Ling

Danielle Ling is an experienced video journalist and business reporter. As associate editor, Danielle manages all multimedia and reports on industry news and risk-related coverage, managing all weather-related content. A University of Maryland and Philip Merrill College of Journalism alum, Danielle previously served as a video journalist for Verizon FiOS 1 News NJ, Push Pause. Connect with Danielle on LinkedIn or email her at [email protected].