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New York State Has 150,000 Cars Damaged by Superstorm

New York’s Tally of Superstorm-Damaged Cars Climbs to 150,000
Gasoline surrounds Sandy-damaged vehicles submerged in water in the Financial District of New York. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg

New York’s tally of vehicles damaged in superstorm Sandy has increased to 150,000, the most of any U.S. state, as the total number of cars battered in the October disaster rose to 250,000, an insurance-industry group said.

New Jersey followed with 60,000 damaged vehicles and Connecticut came in third with an estimated 8,000, the National Insurance Crime Bureau said today in a statement.

Sandy damaged 20,000 more vehicles in New York than earlier estimated as insurers received additional claims, according to the report. The storm struck the East Coast, killing more than 100 people and causing about $50 billion in damages.

“Sometimes weeks and weeks, months after an event, claims will continue to trickle in from areas that were really at the center of the storm,” Frank Scafidi, a spokesman at the National Insurance Crime Bureau, said in a phone interview.

Sandy may cost the insurance industry as much as $25 billion, according to an estimate from catastrophe modeling firm Risk Management Solutions Inc. Companies including Travelers Cos. and Chubb Corp. posted lower fourth-quarter profit because of the storm.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s Geico unit, New York’s leading automobile insurer, is set to announce results for the fourth quarter next week. Warren Buffett, the firm’s 82-year-old billionaire chairman and chief executive officer, addressed Sandy’s impact in a Feb. 14 interview with Fox Business Network.

“We love being number one in the metropolitan New York area,” Buffett said on Fox. “There was a day or two there when we may not have felt so good about it but we love being number one in New York.”

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