Eqecat estimates Hurricane Sandy losses up to $20 billion

Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:32pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Hurricane Sandy is likely to cause insured losses of $5 billion to $10 billion and economic losses of $10 billion to $20 billion, disaster modeling company Eqecat said on Monday.

The company may update the estimate later this week, a spokeswoman said, depending on actual impacts after Sandy makes landfall, which is expected to occur late Monday or early Tuesday.

Even at the low end of the Eqecat estimate, Sandy would rank as one of the worst hurricanes in history by insured losses. Last year's Hurricane Irene, by comparison, caused about $4.3 billion in insured losses.

Before Eqecat released its estimate, most Wall Street analysts were expecting insured losses of around $5 billion, which they said the industry could easily handle.

(Reporting By Ben Berkowitz; Editing by Leslie Adler; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)

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