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A.M. Best Says Pressure Remains on P/C Carriers

Underwriting has improved, but the property/casualty industry has a long way to go before strong returns can be achieved. That's the conclusion of an annual...
February 10, 2004

Underwriting has improved, but the property/casualty industry has a long way to go before strong returns can be achieved. That's the conclusion of an annual report by A.M. Best Company. With a year-end 2003 combined ratio forecast at 101.1, the report says rates in most segments have improved markedly in recent years, but they came from a very depressed level, leaving uncertainty for the adequacy of rates even after a series of significant rate actions and underwriting restrictions. A.M. Best says the extremely poor pricing of the late 1990s has harmed, and continues to damage, a number of balance sheets, leaving many companies inadequately capitalized to take full advantage of new and enhanced business opportunities.

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