Munich Re estimates Thai floods' losses at 500 million euros
Munich Re, the world's leading reinsurer, said on Thursday that the worst flooding in Thailand for decades would cost it about 500 million euros ($671 million) before tax.
It said the estimate from the floods which reached their highest levels in October and November was still "subject to uncertainty" since the water had not yet fully receded in some areas.
"It therefore remains difficult to estimate losses in the worst affected industrial areas around Bangkok," the reinsurer said describing the floods as "the costliest natural catastrophe" in Thailand's history.
"The economic losses are huge since key industries are concentrated in the region north of the capital Bangkok and its environs," the statement said.
Three months of unusually heavy monsoon rains have inundated large swathes of Thailand, killing at least 675 people and affecting the homes and livelihoods of millions.
On Tuesday, Munich Re's big Swiss competitor, Swiss Re said that the Thai flooding cost it around $600 million but warned that the estimate could be revised.
Munich Re board member Torsten Jeworrek called the Thai floods a "wake-up call".
"In emerging countries of growing significance to the interconnected global economy, the provisions made for and adaptation to such natural hazards need to be improved in order to contain the losses," he said in the statement.
© 2011 AFP