The new number from risk modeling firm Eqecat is five times higher than its initial forecast, which I cited in a post on Tuesday about the potential losses from the superstorm. Insurance will cover as much as $20B of the economic losses, four times more than it envisioned before the storm hit land. Electric and utility losses were “significantly” higher than normal from “a more typical category 1 storm,” the company says. The damage to New York area subways and roadway tunnels also caught forecasters by surprise. Yesterday the firm said that Sandy┬ástruck the region of the country “with the highest population and GDP contribution.” But while the losses are high on an absolute basis, Equcat says they’re relatively low “as a portion of the underlying economy and asset base.”