Headed In The Wrong Direction And Picking Up Speed I spend so much time analyzing the insurance industry I worry that as a kid I must have been the one who always asked the question "why." In any event, I do not find todays industry trends comforting.

We all know the market has hardened, prices are up and coverage and availability are down. Certainly one byproduct of the protracted soft market has been a substantial increase in the number of insurer insolvencies and insurer withdrawals from either the industry altogether or from major lines of business.

One cost of these insolvencies, as reported by the Alliance of American Insurers, is that net assessments paid by property and casualty insurers to state guaranty funds have substantially increased. The Alliance reports that $735 million in net assessments were paid in 2001–second in history only to the 1987 net assessment of $903 million.

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