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There is probably little debate that 2009 was one of the toughest years in a long time for insurance agents and brokers, who confronted the dual challenges of a continued soft commercial lines market and the lingering effect of the recession, which shrunk insurable exposures, reduced commissions and inhibited organic growth.

Indeed, 2009 fourth-quarter property and casualty premium rates continued to fall at the rate of 6 percent on average–unchanged from the third quarter, according to the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers’ “Commercial P/C Market Index Survey.”

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