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I was having dinner with some friends one night recently when I got onto the topic of the political and public relations fallout facing the insurance industry following disputes over Hurricane Katrina claims. I began to explain the difficulties insurers are coping with–such as fighting in Congress to keep the industry’s antitrust exemption–when one friend interrupted.

“Anything bad that happens to insurance companies, I’m happy about,” he said. “They deserve it.” That reaction is fairly typical among people outside the industry, don’t you think?

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