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California's October Wildfires Cost Insurers More Than $9 Billion

The wildfires that burned through Sonoma Valley and Southern California just two months ago resulted in $9.4 billion worth of damage to insured homes and businesses, the state's Department of Insurance announced today. That figure doesn't include public infrastructure and the property of people who were uninsured. The number comes as similarly large fires continue to burn in Southern California; Ventura County's Thomas Fire has already burned a greater area than Sonoma's Tubbs Fire.

More than 21,000 insured homes and 2,800 businesses were damaged or destroyed in California in October, according to the Department of Insurance. In response, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones declared an emergency situation mid-month, which allowed insurance companies to recruit non-licensed adjusters to help process Californians' claims.

The Department of Insurance previously said that major insurers had reported a total of $3 billion in fire claims in California in October, but Jones said in a statement at the time that the number was sure to rise. "More claims are coming," he said.

And indeed they have.