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Surplus lines insurers whose 2007 direct premium written dropped for the first time in 11 years can expect profits to fall as the trend will continue, says a new report from A.M. Best Co.

The Oldwick, N.J.-based rating firm said the nonadmitted carriers overall outperformed the property-casualty industry in underwriting and operating performance, but declining prices and more aggressive competition foretell deterioration in the bottom line as premium levels decline.

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