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Nearly 5,000 vehicles flooded due to heavy rain

Insurance companies face hefty claims as heavy rain hits Gangnam where registration of luxury cars is high

Flooded cars in Gangnam, southern Seoul, cause traffic jams during rush hour Tuesday morning. (Yonhap)
Flooded cars in Gangnam, southern Seoul, cause traffic jams during rush hour Tuesday morning. (Yonhap)
Insurance companies are expected to face costly claims for flooded cars as a result of the heavy rain that has inundated Seoul’s Gangnam area since Monday night.

Twelve automobile damage insurance companies received more than 4,791 claims for flooded cars overnight, according to the General Insurance Association of Korea, as of 2 p.m. Tuesday.

The estimated damage amounts to 65.86 billion won ($50.42 million) but is expected to increase as torrential rain is forecast to continue through the week.

“As the rainfall was concentrated in the Gangnam area, home to a high concentration of expensive cars, insurance companies will face a remarkably large amount of compensation claims,” said an official from a general insurance company.

More than 946 of the flooded cars reported were imported cars, according to the insurance industry.

Last year, Gangnam had the highest number of registered imported cars in Seoul - 88,753 units, according to the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association. The figure accounts for 37 percent of all registered cars in Gangnam.

Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance alone received over 1,800 claims for flooded cars by 2 p.m. Tuesday, among which around 700 units were imported cars.

The damage coverage of around 700 imported cars and 1,100 domestic cars could cost up to 30 billion won, Samsung said.

DB Insurance expects damages to amount to more than 11.42 billion won, after it received reports of 927 flooded cars -- among which 284 units were imported cars.

“Most of the flooded car damage was reported in Seoul, Gyeonggi Province, and Incheon. Only two cases were reported from elsewhere -- in Ulsan and North Gyeongsang Province,” an official from DB Insurance said.

By Hong Yoo (yoohong@heraldcorp.com)
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