Calif. fires seen heating up insurance battle


By Jim Christie SAN FRANCISCO, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Even before California's wildfires have been extinguished, insurers and activists are squaring off over the prospect of higher homeowner premiums in the disaster-prone state, analysts said on Wednesday. As flames race across Southern California, they are setting the stage for a rush of home insurance claims of at least $500 million, said Robert Hartwig, chief economist of the Insurance Information Institute, a New York-based trade group. ...

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