Insurance losses for California wildfires top $11.4 billion

Firefighters battle a wildfire near Santa Rosa, California, U.S., October 14, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Urquhart TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

SACRAMENTO, Calif./NEW YORK (Reuters) - The deadliest and most destructive California wildfires in a century caused insurers more than $11.4 billion in losses, the state’s insurance regulator said Monday.

The total amount of insured losses for the November Camp Fire, which destroyed most of the town of Paradise in northern California, jumped 25 percent since December, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara told reporters during a media event.

More than 13,000 insured homes and businesses were destroyed out of more than 46,000 claims reported by insurers.

The figures are “unprecedented,” Lara said. “These are massive numbers for us.” Lara said.

The November wildfires, combined with other blazes in the state drove total 2018 insured losses to $12.4 billion.

A total of 89 people died in the Camp Fire and thousands were left homeless.

Reporting by Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento, California and Suzanne Barlyn in New York; Editing by James Dalgleish