Chile earthquake cost insurers up to $7 bn

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 11, 2010 05:20 hrs

/EFE) Last month's magnitude-8.8 earthquake in Chile cost insurance companies between 2.92 billion euros ($4 billion) and 5.15 billion euros ($7 billion), an insurance firm said.

The Zurich-based Swiss Reinsurance Co. Wednesday said that it expects to receive claims totaling around $500 million (365 million euros).

Swiss Reinsurance Co. pointed out that purchasing earthquake insurance is a common practice in the seismically active Andean nation and that even policy-holders whose property was unscathed could file claims for interruption of business activity.

The confirmed death toll from the Feb 27 temblor is near 500, while 2 million people were injured or displaced.

Chilean officials's preliminary estimates of the costs of repairing or replacing public hospitals and infrastructure amount to more than $5 billion.

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