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State Farm pays out nearly $190M in California wildfire claims
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State Farm pays out nearly $190M in California wildfire claims

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BLOOMINGTON — State Farm and other insurance company representatives remain on the scene in California, where insured losses from deadly 2018 wildfires have topped $9 billion and are still climbing.

Bloomington-based State Farm has paid out more than $189 million for last month's fires in northern and southern California, according to State Farm spokesman Chris Pilcic.

The figures include about 2,120 homeowner claims resulting in about $112.6 million in payments and 1,240 auto claims resulting in $9.6 million in payments from the Camp Fire in northern California, Pilcic said in an email.

The Woolsey/Hill Fire in southern California triggered 1,739 homeowner claims leading to $67.1 million in claims paid by State Farm.

Meanwhile, Allstate reported Wednesday that it has paid out more than $1.2 billion in insurance claims to victims of last month's fires.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced that preliminary claims data shows more than $9.05 billion in losses for commercial and residential coverage, personal and commercial vehicles, and agricultural and other coverage.

“The devastating wildfires of 2018 were the deadliest and most destructive wildfire catastrophes in California's history,” Jones said in a statement from the California Department of Insurance. “The tragic deaths of 88 people and over $9 billion in insured losses to date are shocking numbers.”

He added that “behind the insured loss numbers are thousands of people who've been traumatized by unfathomable loss.”

The department expects the total amount of insured losses to rise as insurance companies and policyholders gain more access to burned areas and claims are amended.

More than 20,000 structures were destroyed or damaged by the fires and state and federal officials estimated it will cost at least $3 billion just to clear debris, the Associated Press reported.

Pilcic said, “State Farm immediately mobilized its catastrophe teams to the affected regions in response to the California wildfires, and our claims teams and local agents continue to assist customers in those areas.”

Two temporary locations remain open in the affected areas to assist State Farm customers.

In a news release, Allstate CEO Tom Wilson noted that customers have been put in "danger and at risk of losing their homes and hard-earned money” by 7,500 California wildfires this year, two hurricanes on the East Coast and other severe weather events.

“It's time to address the impact that more severe weather is having on Americans instead of fighting about climate change,” he said, calling for longer term solutions “such as ensuring power lines are properly maintained, homes have natural fire barriers and building codes reflect increased severe weather.”

Contact Lenore Sobota at (309) 820-3240. Follow her on Twitter: @Pg_Sobota

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