Sandy's economic damage now estimated at $50 billion

Homes wrecked by Sandy in Seaside Heights, N.J. (Mario Tama / Getty Images / November 1, 2012)

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Estimates of the economic losses caused by Hurricane Sandy earlier this week reached $50 billion as experts assessed the costs of severe property damage, shut-down subways and power outages.

On Thursday, Eqecat Inc. said it expects storm-related losses to fall between $30 billion and $50 billion. Of that, $10 billion to $20 billion will be insured, according to the firm, which calculates estimates for insurers.

Earlier this week, Eqecat had said that damages could reach $20 billion, with up to $10 billion in insured losses.

Several governors of affected states have declared this week that homeowners will not have to pay hurricane deductibles on insurance claims, reasoning that Sandy was not a hurricane when it made land.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement that such deductibles typically range from 1% to 5% of a home’s insured value -- up to $15,000 for a house insured for $300,000.

Separately, analysts predict some $500 million in lost advertising revenue due to the storm, according to media research company Pivotal Research Group. That's about 1% of the quarter's revenue for the industry.

"Quantifying the impact of the Superstorm is difficult, but we think it will be real," according to a note from Pivotal analyst Brian Wieser.

The wild weather also shut down many Halloween celebrations, including a Greenwich Village parade that last year brought $90 million in visitor spending to New York City.

In the storm’s aftermath, long lines of cars are waiting to access gasoline stations. Most major fuel providers are suffering service disruptions.

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