Insurers estimate Gustav claims as high as $10B

BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) -- Risk management firms estimate that Hurricane Gustav could trigger insurance claims as high as 10 billion dollars, including damage to oil facilities.

That would pale in comparison to Hurricane Katrina, which cost insurers 41 billion dollars.

Oil workers, utility crews, fishermen and other business owners are fanning out across the Gulf Coast to assess the actual damage. Retailers have begun restocking shelves anticipating cleanup efforts.

Losses on land were expected to total between 3 billion and 7 billion dollars and oil-drilling damage at about 1 billion to 3 billion dollars, according to Risk Management Solutions. Catastrophe risk-modeling firm AIR Worldwide puts preliminary losses on land ranging between 2 billion and 4.5 billion dollars.

Total losses won't be known for months.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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