Insurance claims filed after the recent devastating explosion in the port area of Beirut, Lebanon have already amounted to US $425 million and government sources suggest only around a quarter of claims have been filed so far.
The blast destroyed much of the area around the port and docks, with numerous warehouses and buildings levelled and a number of marine vessels sunk by the explosion, which is assumed to have been caused by ammonium nitrate stored at the facility.
It also blew out windows and caused damage to properties and businesses across a much wider area of the Lebanese capital city.
While the President of the Association of Insurance Companies in Lebanon (ACAL), Elie Tarabay, had recently explained that it is believed the eventual insured loss could reach to around 30% of an estimated $5 billion to $10 billion economic cost.
The Minister of the Economy, Raoul Nehme, has said today in a meeting with the Lebanese President Michel Aoun and a delegation representing insurance interests, that the number of claims filed has now reached 2,500, which he also said would amount to around US $425 million in losses.
Estimates suggest though, that this is only around a quarter of the eventual claims that will be filed, with around 10,000 expected to be lodged for damages caused by the explosion.
On that basis, with $425 million being somewhere around a quarter of the insured claims burden, it does seem like the insurance and reinsurance industry could ultimately face a loss that is closer to $2 billion, than to the early figures of up to $1 billion that were suggested.
Even at closer to $2 billion, the industry loss from the Beirut port explosion is still set to only be a small percentage of the overall economic impact Lebanon faces from the disaster, which is thought to be somewhere above $15 billion by some observers.