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CA Department of Insurance

Insurance Commissioner reports insured losses from November 2018 wildfires up to $11.4 billion—a 25 percent increase from initial report

News: 2019 Press Release

For Release: January 28, 2019
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Insurance Commissioner reports insured losses from November 2018 wildfires up to $11.4 billion—a 25 percent increase from initial report

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Just two months ago, California experienced the most devastating wildfires in the last 100 years, destroying nearly an entire town and leaving 89 people dead and thousands homeless.


Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara today announced that to date more than $11.4 billion in insured losses have been reported from the November 2018 fires. That number is up more than $2.3 billion from losses the Department reported in December—a 25 percent increase. More than 13,000 insured homes and businesses suffered a total loss out of more than 46,000 claims reported by insurers.


“Today, we have a clearer picture of the loss from the devastating Camp and Woolsey fires,” said Commissioner Lara. “The Department of Insurance is here to help. To date we have assisted more than 5,000 survivors of the November fires. To the residents of Paradise, Butte, Malibu, Los Angeles and the other communities who have lost so much—we stand with you on the long road to recovery.”


Department of Insurance staff have been onsite in all affected areas providing expertise and counsel to wildfire survivors and at Local Assistance and Disaster Recovery Centers in Northern and Southern California.


The Department also has intensive workshops planned in the coming weeks to help the survivors of the November fires with their insurance needs.


The Department deployed its law enforcement personnel to devastated communities in the aftermath of the fires to deter scam artists who might otherwise prey on vulnerable wildfire survivors.


The Department’s enforcement team escorted homeowners and insurance claims adjusters through blocked roads and hazards to allow them to inspect more than 1,200 properties and expedite claims for property and auto losses—so people can get paid faster.


“We have a lot to do to get ready for the next fire season,” said Commissioner Lara. “The Department of Insurance is committed to working tirelessly with our fellow agencies to ensure that we have a system in place that protects wildfire survivors, prevents wildfires, and preserves our state.”


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Media Notes:

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.4357. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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