Italy Facing Billions in Damage From Flooding and Wild Weather - BLOOMBERG
BY Bloomberg News,
(Bloomberg) -- Extreme weather that has hit Italy this year, lashing urban areas and devastating crops across several regions, will cost the country billions.
The largest insurers already face more than €3 billion ($3.2 billion) in claims from floods and hurricanes that stormed the regions of Veneto and Emilia Romagna earlier this year, according to an analysis published by Sole 24 Ore on Sunday.
The total is sure to rise following deadly rains centered on Tuscany and northern regions in the past week, killing seven people and causing damage already estimated above €300 million, according to the civil protection agency. Italy’s government has set aside about €5 million in aid and promised more.
Italian officials said the weather event in Tuscany was associated with a trend of “tropicalization.” The storms followed on the heels of Italy’s hottest October ever, according to the agriculture association Coldiretti, which estimated the cost to Italy’s farm sector from floods at more than €6 billion this year.
The immediate impact is not only on crops and on the harvest of grain and olive oil, but also on stocks already collected and stored in warehouses that have flooded, Coldiretti said.
Tuscany and central Italy remain under a weather alert, and the final cost of the damage will become clearer in coming days. But the impact of those events on large insurers has already been reflected on their earnings and forecasts. Shares of Assicurazioni Generali, one of Italy’s largest insurers, fell at the end of October after it recorded about €840 million in losses from natural catastrophes, more than the budget for the entire year.