The U.S. property-casualty industry posted a 28 percent profitincrease, or $9 billion, in 2004, despite dealing with the lossesof four hurricanes in a single season over Florida, Weiss RatingsInc., reported.

The Jupiter, Fla.-based rating service said p-c profitsincreased from $32.3 billion in 2003 to $41.3 billion lastyear.

Weiss said underwriting profits surged 121 percent, or $6.4billion, going from $2.9 billion to $6.4 billion in 2004. Accordingto the firm, the underwriting gain was due to an increase in earnedpremiums, which rose 6 percent, or $26.6 billion, from $387.7billion to $414.3 billion.

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