To prep for Hurricane Florence, investors sell off insurers

This Sept. 10, 2018, GOES East satellite image provided by NOAA shows Hurricane Florence as it threatens the U.S. East Coast. As mandatory evacuations

This Sept. 10, 2018, GOES East satellite image provided by NOAA shows Hurricane Florence as it threatens the U.S. East Coast. As mandatory evacuations

NEW YORK (AP) — Hurricanes almost always set off an orchestrated dance on Wall Street, with shares of property insurance companies swapped out for stock in 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 catastrophe, said that if Hurricane Hugo would have hit roughly the same area in 2012, rather than in 1989 when it actually made landfall, insurance losses would have more than doubled, to $10 billion.