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PG&E settles insurance claims for $11B

By Nicholas Sakelaris
California utility PG&amp;E agreed on an $11 billion settlement with a group of insurance companies. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/d18d60f9cfdbb7dbcc1413e04da2bc26/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
California utility PG&E agreed on an $11 billion settlement with a group of insurance companies. Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 13 (UPI) -- PG&E reached an $11 billion settlement with insurance companies for the wildfires in California in 2017 and 2018, the utility announced Friday.

The settlement is nearly half the $20 billion the insurance companies were seeking after PG&E's power infrastructure was found to be the cause of many of the deadly wildfires that destroyed hundreds of homes and killed more than 80 people. It is subject to court approval.

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"Today's settlement is another step in doing what's right for the communities, businesses and individuals affected by the devastating wildfires," PG&E CEO Bill Johnson said in a statement.

The insurance group represents 85 percent of the claims related to the fires.

PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January after learning it could be liable for up to $30 billion in wildfire claims.

On Monday, PG&E unveiled its plan to exit bankruptcy, including plans to set aside $18 billion for wildfire claims. The plan originally included $8.5 billion for insurance claims but spokeswoman Linsey Paulo said that will be amended to $11 billion.

"PG&E expects that the equity financing commitment will be part of a more comprehensive financing package to merge from Chapter 11," the company said in a statement.

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PG&E wants to exit bankruptcy next year and join a state wildfire fund that will help California utilities pay for future claims.

PG&E faces similar claims for the Tubbs Fire that haven't been settled yet.

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