News Non-Life13 Sep 2018

India:Economic losses from Kerala floods total at least US$4.25bn

| 13 Sep 2018

Total economic losses from floods in the southern state of Kerala have been tentatively estimated at upwards of INR300bn ($4.25bn), as direct damage and business interruption costs are still being assessed, according to an Aon catastrophe report.

The General Insurance Companies of India cited that more than 13,000 insurance claims had already been filed with a payout of INR12.4bn. This total is expected to rise, with the association suggesting that it could be as high as INR45bn.

Impact Forecasting, the catastrophe model development team of Aon’s Reinsurance Solutions business, says this in the latest edition of its monthly Global Catastrophe Recap report, which evaluates the impact of the natural disaster events that occurred worldwide during August 2018.

The report reveals that Kerala was inundated by its worst flooding since 1924, leaving more than 500 people dead or missing. Government officials listed more than 23,000 homes damaged or destroyed, with even greater impact to the commercial sector, agriculture, and infrastructure.

Economic losses from Indonesia quake

Meanwhile, in Indonesia, a series of powerful earthquakes hit Lombok Island, with at least four significant tremors occurring since the end of July: M6.4 (29 July), M6.9 (5 August), M6.3 (19 August) and M6.9 (19 August), notes the report.

The latest data from the country’s National Disaster Management Agency indicated that at least 560 people had been killed in Lombok since the series of strong tremors began, the majority of whom were killed due to the strongest tremor on 5 August.

More than 83,300 homes were damaged or destroyed. The total economic cost resulting from the earthquakes was listed at IDR7.7trn ($528mn).

Mr Steve Bowen, Impact Forecasting Director and Meteorologist, said, “After a relatively quiet first half of 2018 for Asia in terms of natural peril impacts, the months of July and August have seen a reversal of that pattern. Two particularly significant events – the historic floods in India’s state of Kerala, and a sequence of four powerful earthquakes in Indonesia’s Lombok region – combined to cause $5bn in economic damage.

"Despite the high economic toll, only a small fraction of those losses will be covered by insurance due to low take-up. This once again highlights an opportunity for government entities and the private insurance market to work together to lower the protection gap that exists in many emerging and developed markets.”


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