Italy Quake, China Flood And U.S. Storms Top May Losses: Aon

The earthquake that shook Northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region and flooding in China created combined $9 billion in economic losses for the month of May, according to Aon Benfield’s May Global Catastrophe Recap.

The 6.0 magnitude earthquake — and subsequent aftershocks — around the Italian cities of Bologna, Modena and Ferrera in late May caused an estimated $6.25 billion in economic losses, with the biggest hit to the regions’ historic district and agricultural and biomedical industries. The report says that Italian officials indicated it is too early to provided insured loss estimates for the region.

Earlier this month catastrophe modeling firm Eqecat estimated insured losses around $875 million for the earthquake.

“The Italian earthquakes resulted in the largest natural disaster loss for the country since the L’Aquila earthquake event in 2009. The seismic activity was not unexpected, as Italy has long been recognized as a region exposed to the possibility of significant earthquake activity,” said Steve Jakubowski, president of Aon’s Impact Forecasting unit. “Given the level of insurance coverage in the region, it is anticipated that insured losses would reach minimally into the hundreds of millions of dollars. However, it remains too early to determine how negligible re/insurance losses may be from this event.”

Severe weather and flooding in China following strong thunderstorms — including a band of severe weather that impacted at least 22 provinces — killed at least 102 people. Those storms caused an estimated $2.68 billion in economic losses, the report states. China’s Ministry of Civil Affairs reported that at least 143,000 homes were damaged or destroyed in addition to 2.34 million of cropland, Aon says

The U.S. experienced losses as the result of severe weather as well, with Aon pointing out that severe weather in the easter and central states causing an estimated $550 million in insured losses.

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