First American Spatial Solutions Estimates More Than $130 Million of Residential Loss in Calif. Fire
—Company Finds 726 Commercial, Public and Residential Propertiesin the Path of Recent California Wildfires—
May 21, 2009, SANTA ANA, Calif.
First American Spatial Solutions (FASS), a member of The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF) family of companies and a leader in spatial and natural hazard risk solutions, today released its estimate of property losses from the recent Santa Barbara, Calif., Jesusita wildfire. As the fire was burning and insured losses continued to mount, FASS used its wildfire models, its highly accurate PxPoint™ geocoding technology, and parcel data and valuation information from its sister company, First American CoreLogic, to estimate that the actual residential property loss will likely reach more than $130 million.
According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, 8,733 acres burned and 80 homes were destroyed in the hills east of Santa Barbara. Given the large geographic exposure, dense population and extent of the fire, FASS found the damage could have been much worse since approximately 726 commercial, public and residential properties were located within the combined perimeter of the burn area. While all types of properties were in the path of the fire, FASS estimates all of the residential properties in the area to be valued at a total of more than $500 million, with the average residence valued at $1.5 million and a median value of $1.2 million.
“By analyzing the combined data from First American Spatial Solutions and First American CoreLogic we can accurately locate the properties that were directly in the path of the wildfire and, therefore, at the highest risk for loss,” said Howard Botts, vice president and director of database development at FASS. “When compared to published reports, our wildfire hazard models were able to forecast the potential risk for more than 90 percent of the homes that were exposed to this fire. Additionally, using advanced geospatial analytics and our extensive parcel data and valuations from First American CoreLogic, we were able to quickly identify the potential for loss from the fire.”
Through the use of advanced wildfire analytics and its extensive property database, First American Spatial Solutions is able to predict which properties are likely to be affected by a wildfire across most of the Western U.S.
About First American
The First American Corporation (NYSE: FAF) is a FORTUNE 500® company that traces its history to 1889. With revenues of approximately $6.2 billion in 2008, it is America's largest provider of business information. First American combines advanced analytics with its vast data resources to supply businesses and consumers with valuable information products to support the major economic events of people's lives, such as getting a job, renting an apartment, buying a car or house, securing a mortgage and opening or buying a business. The First American Family of Companies, many of which command leading market share positions in their respective industries, operate within five primary business segments, including: Title Insurance and Services, Specialty Insurance, Information and Outsourcing Solutions, Data and Analytic Solutions, and Risk Mitigation and Business Solutions. More information about the company and an archive of its press releases can be found at www.firstam.com.