Back in January, Brian Duperreault, president and CEO of Marsh & McLennan Companies, said the property and casualty industry was entering its “first ‘invisible’ hard market,” in which prices would begin to rise–but because of shrinking insurable exposures, little positive impact would be seen in top- and bottom line results. That’s not exactly how the year played out, with no sign of price hikes ahead.

A big part of the problem is we’re stuck in the worst economic tailspin since The Great Depression. Companies are going bankrupt, closing facilities, scaling back production and laying off millions. That means less demand for standard insurance products such as property, liability and workers’ compensation coverage.

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