The record catastrophe losses of 2005 have given actuaries newmuscle in setting carrier underwriting policy, said reinsuranceexperts at an industry educational gathering yesterday.

Speaking at the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters Societyreinsurance forum yesterday in Philadelphia, the chief operatingofficer of a small mutual casualty company said that engineering amajor turnaround was not enough to sustain any reinsurance pricebreaks this year.

Lanny Strain, executive vice president of Fire Districts of NewYork Mutual Insurance Company, said his organization was hit withnearly 30 percent reinsurance price hikes in both 2005 and 2006despite improvement in his company's surplus picture. "The greenyears don't count. All they look at are the red ones," he said."Basically, the actuaries are now in charge."

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