Eqecat Sandy Damage Estimate: As High As $50B

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Sandy Destruction In Great Kills, NY
Girls examine the wreckage of boats washed ashore in Great Kills, N.Y.

The total economic damage from Superstorm Sandy could reach $50 billion, said Eqecat, one of the top catastrophe modeling companies serving the insurance industry and government agencies.

With a low end of $30 billion in what the Oakland, Calif.-based company labels economic damage, Eqecat also estimated the total of insured losses from the superstorm will range between $10 billion and $20 billion, about the same as predicted before Sandy made landfall.

The estimates are only preliminary, Eqecat said, because large electric and utility losses will likely generate even bigger losses. New York-area problems with mass transit will probably also lead to “higher expectations” of loss amplifications, and continued “discovery” of new losses could result in higher estimates.

Eqecat, a unit of private ABS, plans to conduct a detailed briefing Thursday afternoon during which its analysts may disclose additional data.

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