Slow economic growth, low inflation and minimal interest rates pose special challenges to ocean marine underwriters–fewer ships to insure and less goods in transit to insure, with reduced value of merchandise and lower exposures, according to the chair of the American Institute of Marine Underwriters.

Speaking at the organization's annual meeting earlier this month in New York City, AIMU Chair Dennis C. Marvin observed that reduced exposures and values mean flat or falling premium volume for most marine segments.

Combined with more than sufficient capacity, the budget constraints of buyers and shrinking profit margins, these factors are likely to lead to a continuing soft market in 2010, he said.

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