California wildfires cause $11.4B in uninsured losses, state insurance commissioner says

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The deadly wildfires in Northern California and the Woolsey Fire in Southern California have become the most damaging in California's modern history.

The deadly wildfires in Northern California and the Woolsey Fire in Southern California have become the most damaging in the state's modern history.

Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara announced earlier Monday that the damage caused by the November wildfires is much higher than what was reported in December.

"More than $11.4 billion in uninsured losses have been reported from the November fires. That number is up more than $2.3 billion from the amount reported in December - that's a 25 percent increase," Lara said.

Those figures, according to the state, could go up with updated numbers scheduled to be released in the spring. Insurance companies have already paid out more than $6 billion in claims. The insurance commissioner said there's an increase in insurers not renewing customers who live in fire-prone areas.

Homeowners and renters who spoke with Eyewitness News said they worry about that possibility.

"It would be horrifying. I can't even imagine it. We shouldn't have this - we should have laws against that. That's crazy. That's why you buy insurance," Sierra Madre resident Tracy Hammond said.

The government shutdown delayed the controlled burns in national forests. According to the insurance commissioner, that's one of the big ways California will try to prevent massive wildfires in the future.
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