Reinsurance News

London Grenfell Tower fire loss expected to hit reinsurers: Norway’s Protector

14th June 2017 - Author: Steve Evans

The tragic fire overnight in a tower block named Grenfell Tower in London’s Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, is expected to result in a hit to reinsurers, according to the building’s insurer Protector Forsikring ASA of Norway.

Grenfell Tower fire image via MetroThe 24 storey Grenfell Tower building, which contains over 100 apartments and houses caught fire in the middle of the night, with the blaze rapidly spreading up the building.

Fatalities are sadly anticipated and over 50 people have been taken to hospital, with the building now left severely damaged, leaving concerns about the stability or the structure in the wake of the fire.

Norwegian insurer Protector Forsikring ASA said that it is the insurance provider for Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and so involved in the fire coverage for the tower block.

The insurer said that it expects the loss from the Grenfell Tower fire will “mainly be picked up by Protector’s reinsurance program,” and so the its expects the fire will only have a “negligible influence” on its second-quarter results.

It has emerged that concerns had been raised over the fire safety of the structure last year, when a residents group said they believed it could pose a “fire risk.”

Concerns remain over the potential for people still to be trapped in the building this morning.

Update: Munich Re is the lead reinsurer for this loss and the expectation is that it will cost £25 million or more, with the majority falling to the reinsurers.

Update 22nd June: Media reports suggest that the Grenfell Tower apartment building fire could lead to an insurance industry loss of as much as £1 billion.

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