NU Online News Service, May 5, 3:30 p.m.EDT--Orlando, Fla.--Profitability for the workers'compensation insurance line is at its best level in years with the2004 calendar year combined ratio dropping four points to 105, theNational Council on Compensation Insurance reported at itsconference here today.

NCCI said it is cautiously optimistic for the year ahead,although it is worried about medical costs that continue to soarfor injured workers, as well as mediocre stock performance and lowinterest rates that limit insurers' combined ratio improvement.

The industry services organization also voiced doubts concerningCongressional efforts to renew the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act.NCCI noted that comp polices, which became effective this year,have some exposure because they extend beyond TRIA's scheduled Dec.31 expiration.

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