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Allstate estimates $670M pretax losses from November wildfires

Allstate Corp. expects to book $670 million of pretax net losses from the two wildfires that devastated California in November, the insurer said Dec. 12.

The estimate for the Camp fire in Northern California and the Woolsey fire in Southern California is net of reinsurance recoveries and reinstatement premiums. Allstate said it has made gross insurance payments of more than $1.2 billion, despite having roughly halved policies in force in California over the past decade.

The company estimated its total November catastrophe losses at $685 million pretax and $541 million after tax, bringing the respective totals for the first two months of the fourth quarter to $887 million and $701 million.

"It's time to address the impact that more severe weather is having on Americans instead of fighting about climate change," said Allstate Chairman, President and CEO Tom Wilson. "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."

Allstate also said it expects to recognize a fourth-quarter pension settlement loss of $100 million to $125 million pretax within its corporate and other segment. That follows a $61 million pretax loss booked in the third quarter after the company concluded that benefit payments from its qualified employee pension plan would exceed a threshold of service and interest cost.