It has been reported by broker Guy Carpenter that the total insured losses following the Tianjin chemical warehouse explosion could be between US$1.64 billion and US$3.25 billion. The scale of the losses will lead to significant claims across various markets. In particular, terminal insurers and leading container insurer, the TT Club, are expected to feel the full weight of their potential exposure to liability claims.
Marsh have highlighted that the port was a major loss for both the marine cargo and property markets. Multinational companies will be affected by the loss of Tianjin, with the global motor manufacturing industry suffering acutely following estimated vehicle loss from the disaster which could total between US$790 million and US$1.43 billion. Tianjin is a point of entry into north-east China. This geographical importance has led to it handling approximately 40% of imported vehicles. It also imports components for Chinese vehicle manufacturing. However the ensuing disruption to supply chains has resulted in significant ongoing interruption to the business of the port.
Vehicular damage, as reported by manufacturers directly affected such as Mitsubishi and Hyundai, would trigger business interruption and property damage cover and may lead to property damage insurers looking to recover via subrogation. Cargo insurers will also likely seek recoveries from warehouse operators in relation to storage of goods. It is probable that members of protection and indemnity clubs are enquiring about potential liabilities with regard to cargo losses under contracts or carriage.
It is also likely that insurance will have been placed in the Chinese market. However, exposure may be felt by international and London reinsurers. It is not known whether the Chinese courts will even accept jurisdiction for losses, much less whom they will ultimately judge to be liable for them.