Enter multiple symbols separated by commas

Sandy May Be the Fifth Biggest Hurricane in US History 

Sandy May Be the Fifth Biggest Hurricane in US History 
Photo by Adam Jeffery for CNBC.com

Sandy could be the fifth-biggest hurricane in US history in terms of insured losses, according to early industry estimates, Allstate EO Thomas Wilson told CNBC's "Closing Bell" on Wednesday.

"There are two things that drive the damages — how big is it and how fast were the wind speeds," Wilson said.

"The storm was twice the size geographically of Katrina — that's the bad news," he noted. "The good news is the wind speeds were about two-thirds of Katrina. So there should be a lot less damage but it should be wider spread."

The early estimates have Hurricane Sandy costing up to $50 billion. With insured losses likely to pile up, the property-casualty insurance stocks took a hit on Wednesday.

But the Allstate executive said that while it's really too early to tell, based on the size of this storm, the impact on earnings will be "significant but not material."

"These types of events are in the normal volatility we and our shareholders expect," Wilson said.



  • EU banks still trailing behind US: CIO

    Jonathan Bell, chief investment officer at Stanhope Capital, says that while European banks are trailing behind their U.S. counterparts, they have potential for credit expansion in the near future.

  • Maybank CFO: Expect slower loan growth this year

    Mohamed Rafique Merican, CFO of Maybank Group, says factors such as weaker commodity prices and the implementation of the goods and services tax will weigh on loan growth this year.

  • These factors will take Japan stocks higher

    Nicholas Ferres, investment director of Global Asset Allocation at Eastspring Investments, attributes his bullish stance on Japan to factors such as corporate restructuring and valuation re-rating.