Investors sell off insurers ahead of Hurricane Florence

NEW YORK (AP) — Hurricanes almost always set off an orchestrated dance on Wall Street before they make landfall, with shares of property and casualty insurance companies dumped in favor of companies that sell construction supplies or portable generators.

That routine began a week ago, though Hurricane Florence appears to be turning up the volume this time.

The last time a hurricane of this size struck the middle of the East Coast, Texas Instruments had just introduced the first transistor radio.

Since then, the region has been developed heavily and the potential damages may be exponentially higher.

Karen Clark & Co., which produces models for catastrophes, said that if 1989’s Hurricane Hugo had hit South Carolina in 2012, just 23 years later, insurance losses would have more than doubled to $10 billion when development and inflation are factored in.