In recent years, the specialty market for solo practitioner and small group lawyers professional liability–LPL–insurance has posted strong and stable financial results. However, the operating results of these companies were hurt in 2008 by higher claims expense and lower investment returns.

Reduced expectations for future investment returns and the possible increase in claim costs due to the broader economic slowdown will pressure the future operating results for this market.

Additionally, premium growth in this specialized sector has been flat for the last four years. Softer rate levels in recent years may put upward pressure on both the loss ratios and underwriting expense ratios of these companies.

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