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Hawaii Electrical’s Insurance coverage is Fraction of Potential Fireplace Claims


Practically two months after the lethal Maui wildfires, Hawaiian Electrical Co. revealed the restricted scope of insurance coverage protection it holds within the face of doubtless billions of {dollars} in injury claims.

Hawaiian Electrical has $165 million in annual basic legal responsibility insurance coverage, in response to a submitting with state regulators, in contrast with the $4.9 billion in potential claims estimated by analysis agency Capstone. The utility already is the goal of a number of lawsuits alleging that its energy strains sparked the blaze that razed the historic city of Lahaina and killed at the very least 97 individuals.

“I’m undecided that degree of protection will present plenty of consolation to individuals,” mentioned Paul Patterson, a utility analyst for Glenrock Associates. The submitting was dated Oct. 2.

A utility vehicule is parked by destroyed buildings and houses pictured within the aftermath of a wildfire in Lahaina, western Maui, Hawaii on August 11, 2023. Photographer: Paula Ramon/AFP/Getty Photos

Shares of the utility’s mother or father, Hawaiian Electrical Industries Inc., fell as a lot as 4% on Wednesday and has shed greater than two-thirds of its market capitalization for the reason that Aug. 8 fireplace.

Hawaiian Electrical has denied wrongdoing and the corporate’s chief govt officer informed a US congressional listening to final week that the wildfire wasn’t the utility’s fault. Whereas acknowledging its downed strains sparked an earlier fireplace, the corporate mentioned firefighters claimed they extinguished that blaze. A fireplace flared up later within the day in the identical space when the corporate’s energy strains have been de-energized and it was that fireplace that burned Lahaina, in response to the corporate.

The utility disclosed its insurance coverage protection in response to a wide-ranging Hawaii Public Utilities Fee inquiry. Hawaiian Electrical didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

Copyright 2023 Bloomberg.

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