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State's Power Companies Want Ratepayers To Cover Uninsured Wildfire Costs

California's power companies want ratepayers to cover all uninsured costs from wildfires. The utilities claim an insurance crisis has made the request necessary.

San Diego Gas & Electric spokeswoman Stephanie Donovan says recent large wildfire claims have prompted insurance companies to offer less coverage at higher costs.

"So it was the intention of all four investor-owned utilities in California to sit down together and put out this application requesting a wildfire expense balancing account," Donovan said.

The account would be used to bill customers for wildfire expenses that are not covered by insurance. SDG&E has already used its $1.1 billion in coverage to settle scores of lawsuits stemming from the 2007 fires and many more claims are pending.

State investigators say SDG&E lines ignited three of the fires.

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