Insurance Claims from China’s Tianjin Port Blasts Rise to $3.5B: Swiss Re’s ‘sigma’

March 30, 2016

Insurance payouts from the chemical blasts at the Chinese Port of Tianjin last year could total up to $3.5 billion, reinsurer Swiss Re said on Wednesday, in what would be the largest ever man-made loss in Asia.

The estimate of $2.5-3.5 billion in insured losses exceeds a previous estimate of at least $2 billion made in December, the reinsurer said in its latest “sigma” study of global disasters, adding the latest estimate was also subject to revision.

Reinsurance broker Guy Carpenter has also said insurance losses from Tianjin, which killed around 170 people and destroyed more than 300 buildings and around 20,000 vehicles and containers, could be as high as $3.3 billion.

Winter storms in the United States caused estimated insurance losses of $2.1 billion, Swiss Re said, with overall global insured losses from natural and man-made disasters reaching $37 billion in 2015, above the $32 billion estimated in December.

This remains well below the inflation-adjusted 10-year average of $62 billion, Swiss Re said, due to a benign hurricane season in the United States.

Total economic losses for 2015 were $92 billion, with the earthquake in Nepal the biggest disaster in terms of economic, rather than insured losses, at $6 billion. Nearly 9,000 people died in the earthquake.

(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; editing by Mark Potter)

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