According to Kinetic Analytics, the worst expected damage from a Category 2 Irene would be to Massachusetts, with $5.66 billion. A hit on North Carolina would be $110 million. In between the cost to Rhode Island would be $1.6 billion, Connecticut would be $882 million and New York — where mandatory evacuation of low-lying coastal areas was announced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, including lower Manhattan where the New York Stock Exchange is located — would be $523 million, according to the research firm.
A Category 2 storm packs winds of 96 to 110 miles per hour on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale .
Hurricane Irene has already caused between $500 million and $1.1 billion in insured losses in the Caribbean, according to catastrophe modeling company AIR Worldwide.
Insurers' shares are up Friday because there is "a recognition this is what they do for a living," J. Paul Newsome of Sandler O'Neill told CNBC. Investors recognize paying catastrophe claims is "a normal part of business." Newsome has buy ratings on Ace , Progressive and XL .
The five most costly hurricanes were Katrina in 2005, costing $108 billion in damage, followed by Ike in 2008 at $29.5 billion, Andrew in 1997 at $26.5 billion, Wilma in 2005 at $21 billion and Ivan in 2004 at $18.8 billion.Page 2 of 3 | Prev Page | Next Page