Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, the commercial insurance arm of the Swiss Re Group, launched Insur8, the first-ever typhoon warning insurance product for businesses operating in Hong Kong. This new product indemnifies local businesses against earnings volatility caused by forced shut-downs and additional operating costs stemming from a signal 8 or above typhoon warning issued by the Hong Kong Observatory.
Typhoon warnings of this magnitude can lead to non-damage interruption for many businesses in Hong Kong, due to closure or suspended operations as weather conditions deteriorate. Existing property and business interruption insurance products leave gaps in coverage and can result in substantial economic losses. According to the Swiss Re Institute, the overall economic impact of this type of typhoon warning on Hong Kong's GDP is estimated at HK$4.29 billion (USD 627 million) per day1.
"Typhoon warnings are a significant cause of economic loss and business disruption in Hong Kong. Official figures show there can be as many as four warnings each year, lasting an average of 13 hours each," states Dylan Bryant, CEO North Asia Swiss Re Corporate Solutions. "With Insur8, businesses can quickly access liquidity and manage earnings volatility for non-damage business interruption from typhoon warnings. Our innovative solution bridges longstanding protection gaps and provides access to fast and transparent claims payments."
Insur8 combines Swiss Re Corporate Solutions' parametric solutions and non-damage business interruption tools with its unparalleled weather data modelling expertise. Unlike traditional insurance covers, which require loss investigations and adjudication, Insur8 provides a pre-agreed pay-out amount based on the Hong Kong Observatory warning signal, rather than any loss or damage sustained to physical assets.
Notes to editors
1 Hong Kong's daily GDP was HKD 6.37 billion in 2015, and HKD 6.83 in 2016. Our estimated loss assumes a day's loss from typhoon signal 8 warnings (in 2015 dollar) to be HKD 4.29 billion, or 67.3% of the average daily GDP.