Guy Carpenter Issues Report on Impact of Typhoon Saomai

December 6, 2006

Guy Carpenter & Co., the global risk and reinsurance specialist of the Marsh & McLennan Companies announced that its Instrat(R) unit has published “Typhoon Saomai: Impact and Historical Comparison.”

The bulletin notes that “in addition to providing an overview of the meteorological background to Typhoon Saomai, which made landfall in China on August 10, 2006, the report examines damages and estimated economic and insured losses along China’s eastern coast. Using historical data and comparisons, with additional analysis from Professor Johnny Chan at the City University of Hong Kong, the report also explores the typhoon hazard in general in China and the threat that typhoons pose to the country’s coastal provinces.”

“Saomai’s impact was devastating, especially in the Zhejiang and Fujian provinces, where it destroyed thousands of buildings and displaced more than 1.7 million residents,” stated David Lightfoot, Managing Director and Instrat leader for the Asia Pacific region. “However, the storm had its greatest impact on regions of China that are still relatively undeveloped, which should limit overall insured losses. Saomai underscores that tropical cyclones are a persistent risk along the Chinese coastal provinces – one that insurance companies will need to take steps to manage as insurance coverage continues to grow across the region.”

Guy Carpenter’s report noted that “Saomai affected more than six million people throughout China. In addition to forcing the closure of several major ports and disrupting transport, the storm sank more than 1,000 boats and downed power lines and cut off electricity in six cities. While 441 deaths have officially been reported as a result of Saomai, some unofficial estimates put the death toll at closer to 1,000. Munich Re estimates insured losses to be around 400 million yuan (US$50.5 million), while AIR Worldwide puts insured costs at between 500 million and 1 billion yuan (US$63 million and US$126 million) – or between 4 percent and 9 percent of total economic loss.”

The report also analyzes the general typhoon hazard in China, and indicates that “different regions of the coast are exposed to varying degrees of typhoon risk, with the highest risk located along China’s southern and eastern coast. Although the risk decreases in China’s more northern regions, a significant threat remains for large northern cities such as Shanghai.”

A copy of the full report is available for download at For printed copies, contact Guy Carpenter at:

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