Before Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast–perhaps causing a record insured loss of over $20 billion–the property-casualty market continued to soften last month, with rates down an average of 6 percent in August, according to, an electronic insurance exchange.

As in the past few months, the bigger the account, the bigger the average decline in prices on a percentage basis. “Jumbo” accounts of over $1 million in premium saw rates fall an average of 12 percent, compared with “small” accounts with up to $25,000 in premium, at 5 percent.

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