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Mexico insurance group says storm losses total almost $6 billion

Source: Reuters - Thu, 26 Sep 2013 21:42 GMT
Author: Reuters
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Villagers cross a collapsed bridge in Coyuca de Benitez in the Mexican state of Guerrero, on September 21, 2013. REUTERS/Henry Romero
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MEXICO CITY, Sept 26 (Reuters) - The damage from two storms that caused major flooding and heavy rain across much of Mexico could top 75 billion pesos ($5.76 billion), the highest ever cost from a natural disaster in the country, Mexico's insurers' association said on Thursday.

The storms, which struck Mexico's Gulf and Pacific coasts simultaneously two weeks ago, have killed at least 145 people and damaged bridges, roads and crops across the country.

Recaredo Arias, chief executive of the Mexican Association of Insurance Institutions, said the 75 billion peso figure was based on government estimates and that the insurers' association agreed with them. The government has still to publish its own official estimates.

Tropical storms Ingrid and Manuel have prompted claims of about 2.4 billion pesos and 4.4 billion pesos, respectively, the association said at a news conference.

The areas affected by the storms have a low level of insurance coverage, around 20 percent, according to the association, which said insured damages could range from 12 billion to 15 billion pesos.

($1 = 13.0242 Mexican pesos) (Reporting by Jean Luis Arce; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

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