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As we approach the end of the third quarter of 2009, we see strange things happening in the insurance market place.

Clearly, insurance companies have not made an overall profit in 2008 and the beginning of 2009. The losses have come from a loss of value of investments, normal attrition losses and a continuing pattern of catastrophic events, mainly weather related.

At the same time, reduced commercial activity caused by the recession has caused a drop in written premium as exposures have reduced. An example would be the auto companies that once had significant premiums calculated from their payrolls and sales. Today, the businesses are smaller and some are even out of business, so the premiums are greatly reduced or even eliminated.

On top of this, insurance carriers are facing increased costs from compliance issues from steadily rising reinsurance rates. Throughout the soft market, insurers have bolstered their results by takedowns of reserves established when rates were higher.

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