The insurance industry saw a gain in first-quarter underwriting profits of 20.8 percent, but future catastrophe losses will likely mean it cannot maintain that growth rate throughout 2006, according to an industry report today.

Jersey City, N.J.-based Insurance Services Office and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America said insurers’ underwriting profit rose $1.4 billion from $6.9 billion to $8.4 billion for the first quarter of this year, with a combined ratio of 91.2 percent compared with 2005′s 92.2 percent.

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