Insurance Stocks Do Just Fine Amid Harsh Weather

Strange as it sounds, heat waves and car accidents might be good for your portfolio.

A hurricane approaching Florida and Georgia, as seen from space.
(Image credit: Federal Emergency Management Agency)

Last year, the U.S. set a record for hugely expensive weather- and climate-related disasters: a hurricane in Florida, floods in California, a wildfire in Hawaii, a winter storm in the Northeast, tornados all over. The nation was hit by 28 catastrophes with total damages of more than $1 billion. Over the past seven years, reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 137 separate billion-dollar disasters, including five Category 4 or 5 hurricanes, have caused more than $1 trillion in devastation.

“It is important to keep in mind that these estimates do not reflect the total cost of U.S. weather and climate disasters, only those associated with events [with] more than $1 billion in damages,” said a NOAA report earlier this year. “That means they are a conservative estimate of how much extreme weather costs the United States each year” (boldface NOAA’s).

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

To continue reading this article
please register for free

This is different from signing in to your print subscription

Why am I seeing this? Find out more here

James K. Glassman
Contributing Columnist, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
James K. Glassman is a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. His most recent book is Safety Net: The Strategy for De-Risking Your Investments in a Time of Turbulence.