The U.S. personal-lines insurance sector==particularly the auto market==is entering a soft cycle in 2005, but this current soft period is expected to be shorter-lived than previous ones, Standard & Poor’s said in its new report.

S&P noted that at this point, the softening environment has not yet resulted in across-the-board rate cuts but has led to “looser underwriting standards in certain corners of the market.” S&P offered its observations in a new report titled “U.S. Personal Lines Insurer Mid-Year Outlook: Market Continues To Soften Despite Heavy 2004 Catastrophe Losses.”

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