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Poor investment results, soft pricing, a weak dollar and a near record year for catastrophes sent insurance stock indexes tumbling last year at a greater rate than the Dow Jones Industrial Average, a rarity according to a new A.M. Best report.

Traditionally, property-casualty and life and health insurance stocks outperform the DJIA, A.M. Best said in its special report, “Insurance Stock Indexes 2008 Market Review.” But global insurance stocks measured by A.M. Best’s Global Insurance Composite Stock Index (AMBG) dropped 47.2 percent, outpacing the DJIA’s 33.8 percent fall, A.M. Best said.

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