UPDATE 1-Insured tornado losses seen up to $2 bln-EQECAT

Mon Mar 5, 2012 9:40pm EST

March 5 (Reuters) - Deadly tornadoes that hit some parts of the United States last week caused up to $2 billion in insured losses, disaster modeling firm EQECAT said on Monday.

Insured losses ranged from $1 billion to $2 billion, EQECAT said, adding that the numbers were not final.

Over 150 tornadoes touched down between Feb 28 and March 3, according to a preliminary count, with the majority in Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, and Alabama, it said.

Friday's thunderstorms, which generated more tornadoes in one day than usually hit in all of March, killed at least 39 people over a stretch of more than 1,000 miles.

EQECAT has warned the industry faces a risk of "significant" tornado losses this year.

The 2011 tornado season was by far the worst in insurance industry history, with losses of around $26 billion. That was $10 billion greater than the previous record.