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Commercial insurance brokers from across the country are concerned that the Gulf Coast storms will prompt higher prices, reduced capacity and other negative changes in market conditions over the near term, reversing the softening trend across most markets.

The negative outlook was reflected in comments by agents and brokers responding to the third-quarter 2005 “Commercial Property-Casualty Market Index” report released yesterday by the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers. The quarterly report of brokers on market conditions surveyed 142 members, reflecting a major portion of the p-c market placements.

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