Hawaiian Electric Co. disclosed to state regulators that it has $165 million in annual general liability insurance that could help cover third-party property and personal-injury claims tied to the deadly Maui fire.
(Bloomberg) — Hawaiian Electric Co. disclosed to state regulators that it has $165 million in annual general liability insurance that could help cover third-party property and personal-injury claims tied to the deadly Maui fire.
The utility faces $4.9 billion in potential liabilities from the blaze that razed the historic town of Lahaina and killed at least 97 people, according to an estimate from research firm Capstone LLC. Hawaiian Electric has lost about two-thirds of its market capitalization since the Aug. 8 fire as its role in the disaster has come under scrutiny.
The county of Maui and families of victims have sued the utility, alleging that its downed power lines were responsible for the conflagration. Hawaiian Electric has denied wrongdoing.
The company’s chief executive officer said in a US congressional hearing last week that the wildfire wasn’t the company’s fault. While acknowledging that the utility’s downed lines sparked an earlier fire, the company said firefighters claimed they extinguished that blaze. A fire flared up later in the day in the same area when the company’s power lines were de-energized and it was that fire that burned Lahaina, the company said.
The utility disclosed its insurance coverage in a filing that responded to a wide-ranging inquiry by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. Hawaiian Electric didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
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