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Willis Re estimates Haiyan insured loss up to $700 mln

LONDON, Nov 19 (Reuters) - The cost to the insurance industry from claims related to the super typhoon that hit the Philippines in November is likely to be between $500 million and $700 million, broker Willis Re estimates.

Haiyan slammed central Philippine islands with 314 kph winds, causing tsunami-like storm surges and more than 3,900 deaths, according to estimates by authorities.

Willis Re said its estimates are based on wind speed data from various sources combined with a view of exposure and vulnerability from published academic sources.

Richard Sanders, executive director at Willis Re Singapore, said because of the low level of insurance coverage in the region affected, insured loss is likely to comprise a relatively small proportion of total economic losses.

"Whilst anecdotally, premium volume is growing faster than in many other regions of the world, the Philippines still has one of the lowest insurance penetration rates," he said.