The insurance regulator said it had to chase insurance companies to resolve claims from last year’s wildfires

California’s Department of Insurance has recovered more than $12.7m from insurance companies for claims resulting from last year’s wildfires in California.

In October 2007, hot temperatures and fierce winds whipped up wildfires that raged through California destroying homes and businesses.

Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner said he had to personally call the CEOs of major insurance companies to make sure they were paying claims quickly.

The department said it had received 549 complaints about unfair treatment by insurers.

Nearly 39,000 claims were filed after the wildfires. Around eighty percent have been resolved.

The fires caused $2.3bn worth of losses. Insured losses were estimated at around $1.6bn.