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Insurers brace for losses after Hagibis hits Japan

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Typhoon Hagibis brought torrential rainfall and flooding to Japan at the weekend, killing more than 30 people, washing away roads and flooding thousands of homes and businesses.

Loss adjusting firm Sedgwick says the event is expected to trigger a large volume of commercial insurance claims and the impact will be felt beyond Japan as overseas-based multinationals are affected by supply disruptions.

The main industries in the worst affected areas include electronics and component manufacturers that supply the motor vehicle and telecommunications sectors.

“In addition to the property and subsequent business interruption losses, we expect contingent business interruption losses as well due to the impact on supply chains,” Sedgwick says.

The typhoon made landfall on Saturday evening south of Tokyo near the Izu Peninsula and moved north across the main island of Honshu, bringing torrential rains to the prefectures of Kanagawa, Chiba, Nagano, Gunma and Fukushima.

Levees along 21 rivers collapsed, a cargo ship sank in waters near Tokyo and more than 200,000 homes were without power on Sunday, local media reports said.

Hagibis follows last month’s Typhoon Faxai, which risk modelling firm RMS estimates caused insurance losses of $US5-9 billion ($7.4-13.2 billion).

S&P Global Ratings said in August that last year’s Typhoon Jebi had become the costliest storm on record for Japan, with insured losses continuing to climb well after the event to reach $US15 billion ($22 billion).