In spite of the impact of an economic recession and the unraveling of one major competitor, the property-casualty insurance business–and the specialty insurance market, in particular–remain strong, according a specialty carrier executive.The overall capital position of the p-c industry has declined 25 percent at most, said Jonathan Michael, president and chief executive of Peoria, Ill.-based RLI, giving his own estimate in view of recent analysts’ reports of around 20 percent.

The aggregate overall decline is mainly caused by losses in the investment portfolios of individual insurers, “but compare that to what has gone on in the overall stock market–a 50 percent drop. We’re not anywhere near that,” said Mr. Michael, an accountant by background, referring to the plunge in market indices from the beginning of 2008 to the low points being recorded around the date of an early March interview with National Underwriter.

“I want to emphasize that the property-casualty industry remains very strong,” he said, indicating that he was talking about standard companies, E&S carriers and admitted specialty insurers alike. “With few exceptions–and some of them are big exceptions, I admit that–this industry is very strong today,” he said.

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