As the Northeast hunkers down in the face of Hurricane Sandy, weather service forecasts say that its impact could be worse than last year’s Hurricane Irene–but one analyst says that the storm may not be enough to turn the market sharply.

Meyer Shields with Stifel Nicolaus points out that last year’s insurance industry loss from Hurricane Irene amounted to $4.3 billion. While Sandy has the potential of being another significant loss event, he believes the industry can “easily” absorb a $5 billion insured loss.

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