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Insurance Claims Hit $1.045 Billion For California Fires This Month

AP Photo
 

AP Photo

Total damage estimates for the most destructive week of fires in California history are now topping a billion dollars.

The state released preliminary numbers Thursday based on insurance claims.

State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones says the data surrounding the outbreak of fires in California this month is "chilling."

He says more than 5,400 homes were destroyed and nearly 4,200 damaged.

In addition there were more than 3,000 vehicles destroyed, hundreds of commercial properties, and roughly 150 pieces of farm or agricultural equipment.

"So this is just the start as the insurers begin to collect this information," says Jones. "This represents information from the eight largest insurers that are writing insurance in the areas of these fires."

Commissioner Jones says while these numbers are likely among the worst seen in California history, he expects the final tally to be even worse.

"I think sadly these numbers are only going to climb, and I think sadly we're only going to see increasing numbers in terms of fatalities as the search and rescue people get into more remote areas that so far they've been unable to reach."

According to Jones, there are Department of Insurance detectives on the ground in the affected areas to help deter scam artists working to prey on the fire victims.

If you have fire insurance concerns, you can contact the Department of insurance Fire Hotline 1-800-927-4357.

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