Adding the insurance payout consequence
DISCUSSION FORUM Adding the insurance payout consequence Aug 2010
Shani Wallis, TunnelTalk
In discussing the list of recent tunnel project delays, sinkholes, collapses and material and, tragically, human losses, there is the added dimension of the insurance claims that are lodged to cover the recovery and take the devastated or troubled projects through to completion.
The claims and potential payouts for collapses such as the catastrophic failure of an open cut excavation in Cologne that caused three buildings to crash down and killed two people, are yet to be recorded but the data for past disasters are known and in the public domain.
At the ITA Congress in Seoul, Korea in 2005, Dipl.-Ing. Heiko P. Wannick (MSc) of Munich Reinsurance Company presented a paper that demonstrated clearly the very high cost of tunnel failures (Table 1).
Table 1. High profile failures and their insurance payouts from 1994 to 2005 with some yet to be announced at the time of presentation in 2005
Date Project Event US$ millions
1994 Great Belt Link, Denmark Fire $US 33 million
1994 Munich Metro, Germany Collapse $US 4 million
1994 Heathrow Express Link, GB Collapse $US 141 million
1994 Metro Taipei, Taiwan Collapse $US 12 million
1995 Metro Los Angeles, USA Collapse $US 9 million
1995 Metro Taipei, Taiwan Collapse $US 29 million
1999 Hull Yorkshire Tunnel, UK Collapse $US 55 million
1999 TAV Bologna - Florence, Italy Collapse $US 9 million
1999 Anatolia Motorway, Turkey Earthquake $US 115 million
2000 Metro Taegu, Korea Collapse $US 24 million
2000 TAV Bologna - Florence, Italy Collapse $US 12 million
2002 Taiwan High Speed Railway Collapse $US 30 million
2002 SOCATOP Paris, France Fire $US 8 million
2003 Shanghai Metro, PRC Collapse $US 80 million
2004 Singapore Metro, Singapore Collapse t.b.a
2005 Barcelona Metro, Spain Collapse t.b.a
2005 Lausanne Metro, Switzerland Collapse t.b.a
2005 Lane Cove Tunnel, Sydney, Australia Collapse t.b.a
2005 Kaohsiung Metro, Taiwan Collapse t.b.a
The total for these 19 major losses was estimated at about US$600 million
Wannick explained that recovery costs were exceeding original construction costs several times over in some cases; that insurance was being considered as the 'cheapest risk management tool'; that wide scope of cover indemnifies far beyond repair costs; and that premiums provided insufficient income to pay for the losses.
To address the critical situation, Wannick promoted the standards for risk assessment and risk management procedures as recommended by the 'Joint Code of Practice for Risk Management of Tunnelling Works' prepared by the British Tunnelling Society and the Association of British Insurers in 2003 and 'A Code of Practice for Risk Management of Tunnel Works' produced by the International Tunnelling Insurance Group of the International Association of Engineering Insurers published in 2006. These Codes of Practice have been adopted increasingly in the years since, but recent disasters have raised the profile again of the very high cost of mistakes, failures and accidents.
There are several different criteria that can be tracked to give a clearer view of trends and a better appreciation of how events can make positive contributions to improving practice and eliminating the repeat of common errors and mistakes. This discussion will be kept live and updated as new data is contributed.
Lane Cove collapse investigations - TunnelTalk, Feb 2007
Symptoms of the collapse syndrome - TunnelTalk, Jul 2010
British Tunnelling Society - Joint Code of Practice Free pdf download
International Association of Engineering Insurers

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