Looking to avoid a public relations debacle like the one that still haunts the industry over Hurricane Katrina claims, insurer groups briefed Congressional staffers last week on their swift response to October’s California wildfires. The battle for public opinion might still be uphill, however, with at least one major newspaper reporting widespread underinsurance.

On the same day insurance industry leaders met in Washington to trumpet their wildfire performance, a New York Times story reported that “as many as 40 percent of homeowners statewide lack enough insurance to cover their home-replacement costs,” citing California Department of Insurance statistics.

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