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AIR puts Typhoon Faxai insured industry loss at up to $7 billion

16th September 2019 - Author: Luke Gallin

Catastrophe risk modeller AIR Worldwide has estimated that insurance and reinsurance industry losses from Typhoon Faxai will be between $3 billion (JPY 340 billion) and $7 billion (JPY 740 million).

Typhoon FaxaiTyphoon Faxai hit Japan on September 9th, impacting the Tokyo area with some of the most severe damage seen in the Chiba, Kanagawa and Shizuoka prefectures.

According to AIR, the storm made landfall in Yokosuka on the main island of Honshu at roughly 3am local time, with 1-minute sustained wind speeds of 170km/h (105mph).

The catastrophe risk modeller estimates that Typhoon Faxai, which surpassed Typhoon Higos for the strongest sustained wind speed at landfall in the region, will cost the insurance and reinsurance industry between $3 billion and $7 billion.

AIR’s modelled insured loss estimate includes insured damage to residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural / mutual property, both structures and their contents, and also automobile from wind and storm surge.

The modelled loss estimate does not include: losses from precipitation-induced flood; landslide; losses to land; losses to infrastructure; losses to CAR/EAR, marine hull, or marine cargo lines of business; business interruption losses; loss adjustment expenses; or demand surge related to increased costs of materials, services, and labour.

In the prefectures of Chiba, Ibaraki, Kanagawa, Shizouka, and Tokyo more than 900,000 were left without power after high winds downed two electrical towers and multiple utility poles.

As well as damaging winds, the storm resulted in significant storm surge and heavy precipitation to coastal regions. Storm surge was the highest along the eastern shores of Tokyo bay, notes AIR.

AIR explains that Typhoon Faxai tied with 1958’s Typhoon Helen for the lowest recorded central pressure, and is comparable in strength to Typhoon Jebi in 2018.

Jebi will be fresh in the minds of insurers and reinsurers, the storm resulted in significant losses for the industry and the complexity of the event resulted in substantial loss creep which hit many players in both the traditional and alternative reinsurance space.

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