Agriculture, Commercial Losses Driving Italian Quake Claims

Commercial destruction — especially farm and lost equipment around the regional cheese industry — will drive the majority of the insured losses following Sunday’s 6.0 earthquake in Italy, according to catastrophe modeling firms.

The May 20 earthquake that struck Italy’s northern Emilia-Romagna region may cause insured losses around 100 million euros ($127 million), according to EQECAT. Insured losses are unlikely to exceed the 200 million experienced but the firm adds “due to greater commercial activity in the vicinity of Sunday’s event, the magnitude of losses from the L’Aquila event represents a credible upper bound.”

Modeling firm RMS points out that factory collapses have been reported in the town of Ponte Rodoni Di Bondeno, and in the town of Sant’Agostino di Ferrara there has significant impact to the regional food industry where “officials have reported that warehouses storing more than 300,000 wheels of Parmesan and Grana Padano cheese collapsed.”

Parmesan cheese production was hardest hit and local officials estimate that at least 10 percent of the region’s 1.2 million euro in annual production revenues has been impacted, according to early estimates.

RMS adds that there are no reports of damage from the region’s capital city, Bologna, or from the production facilities of car manufacturers Ferrari and Lamborghini at this time.

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