Having now dispatched personnel to review the damage, and beginning to receive reports from their largest insureds, Chile’s insurers have raised their estimate of insured losses from US$ 2.6 billion to $US 4 billion. Mikel Uriarte, president of the local association of insurers, also conceded that the figure could continue to rise as insurers obtain better information from around the country. Uriarte also noted that only 10% of earthquake premium was retained by local companies, with the remaining 90% ceded to foreign reinsurers.
Chile’s insurance regulator, the Superintendencia de Valores y Seguros (SVS), also announced that the country’s insurers had agreed to relax claim notice requirements under the fire insurance policies that generally provide earthquake cover by endorsement. Insureds will now reportedly have thirty days to report earthquake-related losses under such policies, whereas the mandated notice policy would otherwise have been determined by the individual policy’s particular language. To qualify for such treatment, however, the insured will have to be able to show that it was within the affected areas, searching for family or otherwise impacted by the earthquake in its efforts to effect notice. Under Chilean law, the insurer will then typically have 90 days to respond to the claim, though Fernando Perez, superintendent of the SVS, expressed hope that adjustment of large losses would occur more quickly than that.