Even after a number of significant disasters so far in 2010, including the Chilean earthquake and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, rate hikes are more the exception than the rule in the soft global reinsurance market, key players observe, with no bottom in sight–although more questions are being raised when underwriting long-tail business.

“Unfortunately, we did have some catastrophe activity in the first half of the year,” noted Anne Marie Roberts, president and chief operating officer of BMS Intermediaries in Dallas. “If we have some in the second half, you might see things hardening, but right now nothing is hardening, other than maybe the Chilean rates–which are up 50-to-75 percent.”

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