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The economic damage from Superstorm Sandy could hit $50 billion, making it the second most expensive storm in U.S. history, ranking right behind Katrina, according to forecasting firm Eqecat. 

The cost to insurance companies could range from a low of $10 billion to as high as $20 billion, and vehicles will account for a significant part of the loss. In fact, there is a potential that an estimated 80,000 to 100,000 vehicles from storm-affected states will be declared total losses. Unfortunately, there is also a chance that a lot of these total losses will resurface in the used car market. Here’s what you need to know now. 

The two major causes of total loss will be flooding and damage from falling trees. While falling-tree damage can be easily spotted, once flood damage is cleaned up, it becomes more difficult for the unwary buyer to detect. Vehicles totaled out by insurance companies will most likely carry a “salvage” or “branded” title indicating that the vehicle was declared a total loss. 

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