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Cover Story:

The hard market is about to reach middle age. As with humans, insurers will soon find that achieving this milestone is both flush with opportunity and fraught with peril, says Robert Hartwig, chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute. The big question, says Mr. Hartwig, is whether insurers–having spotted profits on the distant horizon–will abandon disciplined strategies focused on restoring profitability and allow themselves to be seduced by sexier growth-oriented alternatives.

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