The Los Angeles Times(1) reported on Saturday that economic losses from Hurricane Katrina are likely to top $100 billion, making it the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. Private insurers will probably cover less than a quarter of that figure. Federal money and charitable contributions will likely be needed to handle the remaining losses.
There are also staggering losses expected from the interruption of business and displacement of residents. According to the The Independent(2), New Orleans will have to be shut for at least nine months, and many of its residents could remain homeless for up to two years. The cost of not doing business in New Orleans has been estimated by Risk Management Solutions at around $100 million a day.