Norwegian insurer Protector Forsikring initially revealed that last week’s Grenfell Tower fire could lead to an insurance bill of more than £25 million (approximately NZ$44 million) - but now the total payout is estimated to be as high as £1 billion (approximately NZ$1.74 billion).
This could be Europe’s single biggest building insurance payout, according to a report by Sputnik
. It said The Times
estimated the total bill, with eventual cost depending on the number of fatalities, the price of demolishing and rebuilding the property, and the litigation.
Protector Forsikring’s chief executive Sverre Bjerkeli previously said the firm expects its Munich Re
-handled reinsurance program to pick up “almost the entire cost” from the blaze. According to a Reuters
report, the Norwegian insurer, which has a presence in Manchester, wrote the policy for the Grenfell Tower for about £20 million (NZ$35 million).
Kensington and Chelsea Council, which owns the freehold of the tower, reportedly switched insurance providers about three months before the fire that the Metropolitan Police said has left 79 people missing as of June 19.
Swiss company Zurich
was named as the original insurer of Grenfell Tower, with Kensington and other boroughs picking Protector Forsikring supposedly to save money. The Norwegian firm was said to be charging a much lower annual premium, according to Sputnik
Meanwhile, the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) is being blamed for having used cladding with a polyethylene core – a factor cited in the spread of flames.
KCTMO, which managed the Grenfell Tower on behalf of the local government, allegedly ignored fire safety concerns raised by residents and experts as early as 2004.
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