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A growing uncertainty pervading nearly every industry and company, no matter its size–not only in the United States but worldwide–has set the stage for a volatile commercial insurance market for buyers facing renewals this year and next, top risk managers and service experts report.

The outlook was summed up by Lance J. Ewing, vice president of risk management at Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., who suggested it might be time for buyers to adopt a “foxhole mentality” in protecting their organizations.

“The current insurance market is in a state of confusion,” said Mr. Ewing, former president of the Risk and Insurance Management Society. “We’re in uncharted territory now from a risk perspective. The usual ebbs and flows will not apply to the renewal market in 2009 and possibly into 2010.”

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