UK companies facing a $300m bill from Superstorm Sandy

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The Independent Online

Britain's insurance industry has been handed a bill for more than $300m (£185m) for losses caused by Superstorm Sandy at the end of October.

The Lloyd's of London insurer Catlin said the storm, which hit large parts of the US and Canada, was likely to cost it $200m. Hiscox, which also operates in the world's largest insurance market, said claims linked to the storm were likely to set it back $90m. Meanwhile, the insurer Novae said its net cost would be up to $30m.

Last month, Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, said that $42bn worth of damage had been caused across the state. He sparked controversy by claiming that Hurricane Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005, was "not as impactful" as Sandy.

Although, Katrina's death toll was higher, the damage to property and business was worse this time around, he added.

Insurers estimate that the storm will cost the industry $20bn.

Joy Ferneyhough, an analyst at Espirito Santo, said: "We expect most companies to be just over their catastrophe budgets now and as such Sandy turns what would have been an extraordinarily strong earnings year into a more average one."