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Lloyd’s : Sandy claims up at $2.0-2.5 billion

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Lloyd’s of London said claims arising from Superstorm Sandy would cost the insurance market $2.0-2.5 billion (1.5-1.9 billion euros).

“Lloyd’s, the world’s specialist insurance market, has today announced its estimated net claims before tax from Superstorm Sandy are between $2.0 billion and $2.5 billion,” it said in an official statement.

“The range of the claims estimate is consistent with insurance industry losses of between $20 billion and $25 billion. We expect minimal impact on Lloyd’s member capital and no impact on the Central Fund.”

The group stressed that it was seeking to pay claims as soon as possible to those in need.

“As always, our priority is to pay valid claims as quickly as possible and help the communities in North America and the Caribbean affected by Sandy get back on their feet,” said Lloyd’s Chief Executive Richard Ward.

“The Lloyd’s insurance market remains financially strong and, while claims from this storm could still evolve over time, the market’s total exposure is well within the worst case scenarios we model and prepare for.”

Swiss insurer Zurich Insurance Group had revealed on Monday that Superstorm Sandy had hit it with claims worth about $700 million (532 million euros).  Earlier this month, US President Barack Obama asked for $60.4 billion in emergency funds to repair devastation after the storm, which flooded the New York subway system and knocked out electricity for hundreds of thousands of people.

The floods and wind also destroyed or damaged hundreds of thousands of homes, schools and hospitals, and created chaos in fuel supplies after refineries and gas stations were damaged.

London, Dec 19, 2012 (AFP)