SamCaricature-2Way back on Jan. 5, I peered into my crystal ball for the likely Top-10 Property and Casualty Insurance Stories of 2009. Before I reveal what turned out to be my actual picks here on Dec. 21, let’s see how accurate my predictions were:

#1: AIG’s Fire Sale Comes Up Short! I was right when I predicted that “AIG will continue to struggle against the restraints imposed by meddling members of Congress as it sells more subsidiaries at bargain prices to pay off its federal bailout loan.” However, my fear that AIG would require additional federal funds is thus far unfounded.

#2: As The Market Turns! I was right on target in figuring that commercial insurance price cuts would level off, but would “not rebound as sharply as the industry hopes.” I properly suggested “there is still too much competition in a contracting economy,” noting that “troubled carriers are pricing aggressively to overcome reputational risks and maintain market share.”

#3: Obama To The Rescue! I was overly optimistic that President Barack Obama’s stimulus package would “spur rapid exposure growth in the summer and fall, to the benefit of a multitude of insurers.” However, it’s encouraging that job losses are at least bottoming out.

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