More than 90 percent of New York, New Jersey Sandy claims settled - trade group

Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:17pm EDT

A worker walks past as a house damaged beyond repair by Hurricane Sandy is demolished by heavy machinery in the Ocean Breeze neighborhood of Staten Island in New York City, January 16, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Segar

A worker walks past as a house damaged beyond repair by Hurricane Sandy is demolished by heavy machinery in the Ocean Breeze neighborhood of Staten Island in New York City, January 16, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Segar

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(Reuters) - More than 90 percent of the insurance claims lodged in New York and New Jersey in the wake of Superstorm Sandy have been settled, the Insurance Information Institute said on Monday.

All totaled, the industry trade group said, Sandy will end up having generated $18.8 billion in claims, making it the third-costliest storm in U.S. history. Only the hurricanes Katrina and Andrew caused more damage, when adjusted for inflation to 2012 dollars.

In the early days after the storm, there had been some thought that Sandy would ultimately surpass 1992's Andrew in terms of losses, but in the final calculations the difference between the two remained substantial.

More than half of the 1.5 million Sandy-related claims were in New York and New Jersey, the III said, with about 73 percent of the total number from homeowners and the rest car and business owners.

But business owners will end up representing almost half of the actual money paid out, the group said, since they generally have higher property values.

The claims and dollar figures exclude flood damage, which is insured by the federal government's National Flood Insurance Program. Those claims on their own are expected to be in the billions of dollars.

(Reporting by Ben Berkowitz in Boston; editing by Matthew Lewis)

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