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The New Arab Staff

Beirut insurance claims on port blast exceed $400 million already

A total of 10,000 claims are expected to be filed after the blast [Getty]

Date of publication: 18 August, 2020

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Some 2,500 insurance claims submitted after the Beirut port explosion already add up to $425 million, with 7,500 more claims expected to be filed in the coming days.
Insurance claims toward the massive explosion at the Port of Beirut have so far reached $425 million, Lebanon's caretaker Economy Minister Raoul Nehme said on Monday.

The cumulative amount is calculated from 2,500 claims presented to insurance companies for damages incurred by the August 4 Beirut blast, the minister said.

Insurance companies have said they will wait until the investigation into the cause of the blast is completed before paying out, while reports cited companies saying payments won't be made if the blast is "found to be the result of a terrorist attack".

Lebanese officials have blamed the explosion on 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that was stored at the port and caught fire before the explosion.

According to local outlet The Daily Star, Nehme met with a delegation from the Syndicate of Insurance Brokers and President Michel Aoun, tweeting after the meeting that the number of claims submitted was expected to reach 10,000.

Official figures estimate as much as $15 billion in damages caused by the blast, while insured losses are expected to be lower.

Read also: Beirut blast wreaks havoc on tourism industry, leaving hundreds unemployed

Citing Elie Torbey, chairman of the Association of Insurance Companies, The Daily Star reported that policy holders cannot expect to receive any compensation unless they had opted for a policy that protects from accidents involving bombs, chemicals, dangerous materials or an act of terrorism.

The explosion has killed at least 177 people, injured more than 6,500 and displaced another 300,000.

The disaster has also destroyed businesses that managed to withstand the country's economic crisis, impacting more than 10,000 establishments, including hotels, restaurants, nightblubs, cafes, car rental companies, furnished apartments, sweets and patisseries, according to a syndicate of owners.



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