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updated: 12/13/2018 5:36 PM

Allstate CEO calls for efforts to fight climate change

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  • Firefighters work to keep flames from spreading through the Shadowbrook apartment complex as a wildfire burns through Paradise, Calif. Northbrook-based Allstate said Thursday the wildfires cost the company $685 million in catastrophe losses in November, leading CEO Tom Wilson to call for increased efforts address the impact of climate change.

    Firefighters work to keep flames from spreading through the Shadowbrook apartment complex as a wildfire burns through Paradise, Calif. Northbrook-based Allstate said Thursday the wildfires cost the company $685 million in catastrophe losses in November, leading CEO Tom Wilson to call for increased efforts address the impact of climate change.
    AP File photo/Noah Berger, Nov. 2018

  • Allstate CEO Tom Wilson

    Allstate CEO Tom Wilson

 
 

The historic wildfires in California cost Allstate $685 million in losses in November, prompting CEO Tom Wilson on Thursday to call for increased efforts to address the impact of climate change.

The Northbrook-based insurer said catastrophe losses in November were comprised of six events, which included the devastating Camp and Woolsey fires in California. Allstate said it has provided gross insurance payments of over $1.2 billion to victims of those fires.

The company said despite reducing the number of policies it held in California by about 50 percent over the last 10 years. the net losses in November related to the two fires alone are estimated at $670 million and reflect the impact of reinsurance recoveries and reinstatement premiums.

Wilson, in a statement, acknowledged the fires and other weather-related catastrophes are linked to climate change, adding "it's time to address the impact that more severe weather is having on Americans instead of fighting about climate change."

"This year there have been approximately 7,500 wildfires in California, hurricanes Florence and Michael and a swath of severe weather across the United States, putting our customers in danger and at risk of losing their homes and hard-earned money," Wilson said. "We are grateful for the support of first responders and government officials in dealing with these events.

"It is now time to come up with longer-term solutions, such as ensuring power lines are properly maintained, homes have natural fire barriers and building codes reflect increased severe weather," he added.

Allstate previously announced $202 million in estimated losses in October, bringing catastrophe losses for the past two month to $887 million.