Munich Re Sees Beirut Blast Losses of at Least 100 Million Euros
The submerged cruise ship ‘Orient Queen’ lays in the water alongside the damaged ‘About Karim III’ livestock carrier vessel at the Port of Beirut in Beirut, Lebanon. (Photographer: Hasan Shaaban/Bloomberg)

Munich Re Sees Beirut Blast Losses of at Least 100 Million Euros

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Munich Re said it faces claims of at least 100 million euros ($118 million) stemming from the deadly explosion that ravaged much of downtown Beirut last month.

The German reinsurer said losses in the “low three-digit-million euro range” are expected, mostly relating to property, according to a company statement on Monday. The blast caused as much as $4.6 billion in physical damage, according to an initial assessment led by the World Bank. Munich Re said previously that it faced a “major loss” from the explosion.

More than 180 people were killed and thousands injured when a vast consignment of explosive material detonated at Beirut’s port on Aug. 4, devastating surrounding neighborhoods.

Munich Re Sees Beirut Blast Losses of at Least 100 Million Euros

Munich Re said it expects a similar volume of losses from damage caused by hurricanes Hanna, Isaias and Laura in July and August, according to the statement. By contrast, the California wildfire season isn’t seen having a material impact on the company.

Losses related to Covid-19 have slowed in recent months, according to the statement. Munich Re suffered a 1.5 billion-euro hit in the first half of the year. The reinsurer issued a profit warning in March and halted a share-buyback program, citing a surge in claims related to the outbreak, especially from the cancellation and postponement of large events. The company has not issued a new profit guidance for 2020.

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