Insured Losses Due to Typhoon Chan-hom Estimated at up to $2.2B

July 16, 2015

According to catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide, insured losses in China from Typhoon Chan-hom are unlikely to exceed CNY 2.2 billion (a little over US $354 million).

“Typhoon Chan-hom made landfall in the coastal city of Zhoushan, China, on July 11, 2015, at 4:40 p.m. local time as a Category 2 storm, making it one of the strongest to hit the region this year,” said Dr. Kevin Hill, senior scientist at AIR Worldwide. “Zhoushan sits across from Shanghai on Hangzhou Bay, about 130 km to its south-southeast. At the time of landfall, maximum sustained winds reached 45 m/s with a central pressure of 960 mb, which was slightly less intense than its peak strength of 935 mb 24 hours prior. Some reports suggest this could be the strongest July typhoon to hit Zhejiang Province since 1949.”

Chan-hom was moving north-northeast at a rate of 20 km/h when it glanced the coast of China, moving through Shandong Province on July 12 and then quickly swerving out to the Yellow Sea. It then made a second landfall in North Korea on July 12 at approximately 3 a.m. local time as a tropical storm after weakening due to significantly cooler sea surface temperatures. Sustained wind speeds in North Korea were reported between 80 km/h and 88 km/h.

Dr. Hill noted, “Heavy downpours doused Shanghai and the provinces of Anhui and Fujian, flooding roads and fields. The China Meteorological Administration (CMA) reported close to 40 cm of precipitation in the city of Lai’ao Village in Sanmen County south of Shanghai. Landslides washed away more than 5,000 cubic meters of land in Ningbo city, and dozens of water gates have been opened to facilitate flood drainage.”

According to official estimates released July 15 by the Zhejiang government, economic losses in the province alone are estimated at CNY 8.86 billion, while total economic losses are estimated at CNY 9.1 billion. More than 1,000 houses are reported to have collapsed in China. Industries most impacted include agriculture, with reports of more than 200,000 hectares affected by Chan-hom, and transportation, after thousands of flights and trains were canceled due to weather conditions. The storm affected 2.8 million people in 520 villages and towns, spanning 69 counties and nine cities of Zhejiang Province.

Evacuations prior to landfall included about 1.2 million people from coastal areas of Zhejiang and more than 56,000 in neighboring Jiangsu. Because Shanghai was on the weak side of the storm system, however, wind damage was mitigated.

AIR’s insured loss estimates include take-up rates that vary by line of business and province. Note, however, that there is considerable uncertainty around these take-up rates.

AIR’s industry insured loss estimates reflect:

  • Insured physical damage to onshore property (residential, commercial, and Construction All Risks/Erection All Risks), for both structures and their contents due to wind and precipitation-induced flooding in China.
  • AIR’s assumed take-up rates—that is, the percentage of properties in China that are actually covered against wind and flood damage

AIR’s modeled insured loss estimates do not include:

  • Losses to uninsured properties;
  • Losses to infrastructure;
  • Losses from storm surge;
  • Losses to crops, livestock, and poultry;
  • Losses to auto;
  • Losses resulting from physical failure of flood defenses;
  • Losses from hazardous waste cleanup, vandalism, or civil commotion whether directly or indirectly caused by the event’
  • Builders Risk;
  • Demand surge;
  • Other non-modeled losses.

Source: AIR Worldwide

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