Improved pricing conditions in the wake of record second-halfcatastrophe losses have prompted equity analysts to take a moreoptimistic view of the property-casualty sector.

P-C analysts Jay Gelb of Lehman Brothers and Brian Meredith ofBank of America have raised their outlooks for the industry thisweek.

Last week, the Insurance Services Office said that insurers paida record $40.8 billion in the third quarter to homeowners andbusinesses for insured property losses in 14 states, making 2005the costliest year for catastrophe damage in history.

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