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Insured losses from November wildfires already at $9 billion, with more claims expected

Insured losses from November wildfires already at $9 billion, with more claims expected
Kathy Tyler gets a hug from friend Russ Vaugh after they work to recover what was left of the Tyler home following the Camp fire in Northern California. Kathy and her husband, Charles Tyler, had lived in the area since 2002. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

The insured losses from the conflagrations that consumed thousands of acres in California last month and killed more than 80 people already total $9 billion, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced Wednesday.

The bulk of the insured losses — worth about $8.36 billion — are from 28,519 claims for damaged or destroyed residential personal property. There is an additional $571 million worth of claims for commercial property and $124 million for other assets, including automobile losses.

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“We know this number is going to climb,” Jones said of losses from the Camp, Woolsey and Hill fires, which damaged or destroyed nearly 20,000 homes.

In Northern California, losses from the deadly Camp fire have totaled $7 billion, while those from the Woolsey and Hill fires in Los Angeles and Ventura counties are $2 billion.

The Camp fire was the worst in California history, destroying more than 15,000 structures and killing 86 people.

Much of the town of Paradise was leveled, and there is much debate about how the city could be rebuilt.

The fire displaced thousands of residents who are not sure where they are going to live and whether they will be able to rebuild their homes.

The Paradise blaze comes on the heels of other destructive fires, with thousands of homes lost in blazes in wine country and Redding. Some fire victims have realized their insurance doesn’t cover all of their losses.

“Behind these numbers are real people who have suffered real tragedies,” Jones said.

The new numbers are on top of the $845 million in insured losses from the Mendocino Complex and Carr fires in Northern California earlier this year.

Losses from wildfires in 2017 totaled about $12.8 billion, according to state officials.

Jones said the figures do not include economic losses like public infrastructure that was destroyed or private uninsured infrastructure.

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