As U.S. property-casualty insurance multinationals face pressure for top-line growth, foreign markets are taking on new strategic importance, with eyes focused on two emerging economic giants–India and China–offering powerhouse potential for commercial and personal lines expansion. Still, U.S. insurers looking to capitalize on opportunities abroad are also encountering significant obstacles that require patience and savvy to overcome.

Warren, N.J.-based Chubb Corp. has served overseas clients for almost 80 years, and today offers products where 95 percent of the world's p-c insurance is sold. Indeed, almost 20 percent of Chubb's overall written premium comes from foreign markets, according to Jan Tomlinson, who heads up Chubb's international field operations.

Still, the carrier is eager to grow internationally beyond traditional foreign markets–and they are not the only ones.

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