By Erik Wasson - 11/01/12 05:18 PM EDT
The economic toll from Hurricane Sandy is rapidly rising.
Eqecat, a leading firm monitoring the insurance industry, said Thursday that it now estimates total economic damage from the storm to reach as high as $50 billion.
That's an increase from a maximum estimate of $20 billion in damages made just before the storm scored a direct hit on New Jersey and flooded New York City.
The firm estimates a cost of at least $30 billion from the storm.
Total insured losses are estimated to be between $10 billion and $20 billion, double what Eqecat previously estimated.
On Tuesday, another monitoring firm, AIR Worldwide, estimated insured losses between $7 billion and $15 billion.
The new estimates would make Sandy one of the costliest disasters in American history, second only to Hurricane Katrina’s $105 billion in damages as far as cyclones go. Hurricane Andrew, which flattened much of the Miami area, cost $45 billion.
The economic effects from the hurricane will not be distributed evenly. For example, construction and lumber will likely see a boost while retail will take a hard hit.