Despite total damage to residential, commercial and agricultural properties from Super Typhoon Haiyan ranging between $6.5 and $14.5 billion, modelling firm AIR Worldwide estimates insured losses will stay in the hundreds of millions.
Because insurance penetration in the region is low, AIR estimated that $500 to $700 million of insured losses were caused by the typhoon, which ripped through the Philippines earlier in November. AIR’s estimates were matched by Willis Re.
Richard Sanders, executive director at Willis Re Singapore, said: “this estimate is based on detailed wind speed data from a range of sources that allowed Willis Re to derive a wind field map for the storm. We combined this wind field with our view of exposure and vulnerability from published academic sources to calculate market loss.”
He concluded: “as many of the exposures in the affected regions are uninsured or underinsured, potential post-catastrophic insurance recoveries are likely to be a relatively small proportion of economic losses. Whilst anecdotally premium volume is growing faster than in many other regions of the world, the Philippines still has one of the lowest insurance penetration rates. Current estimates indicate that Haiyan will be counted as one of the most significant storms in recent times for the Philippines, however it is too early to state with any certainty how much of the damage will end up as recoveries in the reinsurance market.”
Typhoon Haiyan, natural catastrophe, Asia Pacific, AIR Worldwide, Willis Re