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Chubb readies $350 million payout tied to Baltimore bridge collapse


(Reuters) — Chubb Ltd., which had insured Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge, is getting ready to pay $350 million to the state of Maryland, in what could be the first major payout tied to the collapse of the bridge in March.

The payment is expected to be authorized within weeks, a spokesperson for Willis Towers Watson PLC, the broker for the bridge's insurance policy, confirmed Thursday.

The payout is likely to be the first of many related to the disaster that analysts have said might cost insurers up to $4 billion, making it a record shipping insurance loss.

The tragedy that killed six people occurred after the Singapore-flagged container ship Dali collided with the landmark bridge.

The FBI has also launched a criminal probe into the incident that led to the closure of one of the busiest U.S. ports.

Plans for the $350 million payout were first reported by The Wall Street Journal, which said Chubb, along with Maryland and the families of the victims of the crash, will likely sue the ship owner and others to recoup losses from the crash.

Chubb declined to comment.

The mayor and city council of Baltimore filed a lawsuit against the owner and operator of the ship last week, accusing them of negligence.