Oct 30 - Hurricane Sandy may have caused as much as $20 billion in economic losses, according to disaster modeling company Eqecat. Conway G. Gittens reports.
$20 billion is our number today. This is how high Hurricane Sandy may have run the tab on her visit to the North-Eastern United States, according to disaster modeling company Eqecat. But Jeanne Salvatore, senior vice president for public affairs at the Insurance Information Institute in New York, says that while the check for the wreck will be expensive, right now it is hard to say how much exactly it is going to cost. SOUNDBITE: JEANNE SALVATORE, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS, INSURANCE INFORMATION INSTITUTE (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It is likely that Hurricane Sandy is going to rank as a top-ten insured catastrophe. It is likely to be greater than last year's Hurricane Irene, which was $4.3 billion of insured losses, but less than Hurricane Katrina, which at the time resulted in $41 billion of insured losses." Some other sources say, for Sandy the price may be even steeper. Peter Morici at the University of Maryland says the hurricane will cause about $35 billion to $45 billion in losses and damages, followed by as much as $36 billion in recovery spending.