Insurer Payout for Costa Concordia Disaster Rising: Munich Re

The grounded cruise ship Costa Concordia off the Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, on Jan. 24. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito) The grounded cruise ship Costa Concordia off the Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, on Jan. 24. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

MUNICH (Reuters) - Insurance industry payouts related to last year's sinking of cruise liner Costa Concordia have continued to rise and are likely to top $1.1 billion as salvaging of the wreck continues, reinsurer Munich Re said on Tuesday.

Last year the ship struck a rock as it sailed close to the picturesque island of Giglio, prompting a chaotic evacuation of more than 4,000 passengers and crew. The ship had a value of $500 million,Munich Re said.

"That's already been paid for," Munich Re board member Torsten Jeworrek told a news conference on the reinsurer's second-quarter earnings.

The salvage operation aims to remove the vessel intact rather than cutting it into pieces, which adds to the cost and time involved in removing the wreck, Jeworrek said.

Munich Re raised its estimate for its own share of the burden to 100 million euros ($132 million) from 80 million previously.

Four Costa Concordia crew members and a company official were sentenced to jail in Italy last month for their part in the disaster that killed 32 people, leaving only the ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, still on trial.

($1 = 0.7553 euros) (Reporting by Alexander Huebner, writing by Jonathan Gould, editing by Louise Heavens)

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