The Santa Rosa, California-based manufacturer alleges that Zurich American Insurance Company delayed settlement of four outstanding fire claims in order to avoid payment, according to US media.
The payments owed under three policies covered a period between 2017 and 2020, JFW says, adding that four of its claims for damage incurred during the Pocket and Tubbs/Nuns fires in 2017, the Kincade fire in 2019 and the Glass fire in 2020 totalled more than US$430m (about €405m). So far, Zurich American Insurance Company has paid less than 70 mill, according to the lawsuit filed on 9 December in U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
JFW, which is seeking unspecified damages, says it is insured for up to $1.1 billion. The lawsuit says "the fire damaged or destroyed hundreds of trees as well as irrigation equipment, fences, trellises and roads." Numerous acres of land, vineyards and homes were destroyed in the wildfires. Twenty-five people have also died in the fires. The company says it has spent $12 mill to clear fire debris. However, another $26 mill. would be needed. PD