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Zurich puts Sandy storm damage claims at $700 million

ZURICH (Reuters) - Zurich estimates that damage claims relating to tropical storm Sandy, which hit the United States in October, will amount to $700 million in its fourth-quarter earnings.

The Swiss insurer's announcement on Monday also said that it expects $58 million of "reinstatement premiums due on reinsurance covers". The company gave no further explanation. It is due to report quarterly earnings on February 14.

The storm, which killed 132 people in the United States and Canada on October 29, led to power outages, disruptions of public transport and massive damage to infrastructure.

U.S. insurer AIG said it expects post-tax losses of at least $1.3 billion from Superstorm Sandy, while Travelers Companies Inc and Swiss Re estimated their claims burdens at $650 million after tax and $900 million before tax respectively.

Sandy is expected ultimately to be the second-costliest catastrophe in U.S. history, with insured loss estimates as high as $25 billion. The costliest catastrophe was hurricane Katrina in 2005.

(Reporting By Katharina Bart; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and David Goodman)

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