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Q1 P/C Loss Worst in 20 Years, But Some Bright Spots

The property/casualty industry reported first-quarter losses of $1.3 billion, the worst in more than two decades, according to the Insurance Services Office (ISO). The good...
July 1, 2009

The property/casualty industry reported first-quarter losses of $1.3 billion, the worst in more than two decades, according to the Insurance Services Office (ISO). The good news was that catastrophe losses were lower in that period.

Robert P. Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute, noted in his commentary on the report that there were some bright spots in the gloomy numbers. "There are several reasons to believe that the worst might be behind the industry in terms of realized investment losses," he said. Hartwig mentioned that insurers have shifted assets into more conservative investments and barring "another catastrophic deterioration in the financial markets, the magnitude of write-downs on credit instruments should begin to diminish." Indeed, in some cases insurers may be able to record increases in value going forward. He noted lower catastrophe losses were one of the few bright spots in the report, coming in at $2.9 billion for the quarter, down $600 million, or 17 percent, from the same period a year ago. Hartwig added that catastrophe losses have remained tame during the second quarter of 2009.

P&C Insurers Posr $1.3B Loss for Q1 (National Underwriter 6/29/09)

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