Estimates for Storm’s Economic Costs Now $30 to $50 Billion

Estimates for the total economic costs of Hurricane Sandy have risen to $30 to $50 billion from $10 to $20 billion, catastrophe modeling firm Eqecat said this morning in a release.

The new estimates, which were calculated after the storm landed on Monday, derive from larger-than-expected utility and electrical losses, which in turn triggered greater business interruption costs than Eqecat’s pre-landing model predicted. Subway outages and closed roadways, including river crossings, also led to the higher estimates.

Eqecat’s estimates for insured losses, meanwhile, climbed to $10 to $20 billion from $5 to $10 billion. At the upper end of the estimates, that would make Sandy the fourth most expensive U.S. hurricane for insurance companies, after Katrina (2005; $74.7 billion), Andrew (1992; $25.6 billion) and Ike (2008; $21.2 billion).