Hurricane Florence could cost the insurance industry more than $20bn (£15.33bn) as millions of people and businesses begin evacuating from the east coast of the US.
The storm could hit North and South Carolina later today and cause devastation along the coastline.
Catastrophe risk modelling company, Risk Management Solutions, said the category 4 storm could cause covered losses of $15bn–20bn based on historical hurricanes and the present day make-up of property and businesses along the coastline.
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The company warned that estimate did not include the flooding potential of the impending storm.
The most recent category 4 storm to hit the area – Hurricane Hugo – caused $20.5bn in damage when translated into present day values.
JP Morgan’s property and casualty insurance team estimated insurers could lose $8bn-20bn, while some analysts said the figure could exceed $20bn.
The insurance sector on the S&P 500 dropped 0.5 per cent yesterday and has dropped by around 1.5 per cent since Monday.