Although property and casualty insurer net income fell 59.3 percent in the first half, reflecting weakness in the economy and plummeting investment gains, industry leaders saw positive signs in terms of lower underwriting losses and rising policyholders’ surplus.

The quarterly report on industrywide results by the Insurance Services Office Inc. and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America said net income for the first six months of 2009 dropped to $5.8 billion, down $8.2 billion from last year’s $14.1 billion first-half profit.

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