Ed Beeson
The Star-Ledger
January 3, 2013

Hurricane Sandy could end up costing private insurers even more than the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center did, an economist for the insurance industry said today.

Insurers could end up paying out as much as $25 billion to cover damage from last year’s superstorm, according to an estimate by risk-modeling group RMS, which supplies data to the insurance industry. Meanwhile, insurers have paid out about $24.6 billion in claims and losses arising from the attacks on New York, said Robert Hartwig, president and economist for the Insurance Information Institute, on a webinar presented by Munich Re, a global reinsurer.

The exact cost of Sandy damage won’t be known probably until later this year, Hartwig said. But estimates show that insured losses may not only exceed the 9/11 attacks on New York, it could be more than the 1994 Northridge, Calif., earthquake, which cost insurers $23.9 billion, and approach the $25.6 billion price tag of 1992’s Hurricane Andrew, he said.

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