Insurance Claims From California Wildfires Total Nearly $12 Billion

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS News) — Nearly 45,000 insurance claims totaling a staggering $11.79 billion in losses have been filed in California in the wake of devastating wildfires in wine country and Southern CaliforniaCBS San Francisco reports. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones made the disclosure on Wednesday about the fires that damaged and destroyed more than 32,000 homes, 4,300 businesses 8,200 vehicles, watercraft, farm vehicles and other equipment.

“At nearly $12 billion in insured losses, these claim numbers are staggering and represent the costliest fires in California history,” Jones said in a release. “The fires were unprecedented for their severity and disastrous consequences. Whole neighborhoods were wiped out, as wind-driven flames destroyed thousands of homes, upended tens of thousands of residents’ lives and tragically killed more than 45 people across the state.”

The number exceeds the total insurance claims from the top 10 previously most costly wildfires in California. Before last year, California’s most expensive single fire was the 1991 Oakland Hills fire that prompted $2.7 billion in claims in today’s dollars.

The totals do not include insurance claims related to mudslides that buried homesand vehicles in Montecito when torrential rain fell on hillsides burned in the December fires.

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