Premiums written by the U.S. excess and surplus lines market fell nearly 5 percent to $11.5 billion in the first half of 2010, according to a report prepared by Highline Data exclusively for National Underwriter.

If a harder insurance market or some economic improvements do not come together to drive E&S premiums up dramatically in the second half of this year, the segment will suffer a record-setting four straight years of premium declines.

According to Highline Data (–a data affiliate of The National Underwriter Company–comparable premiums for the U.S. E&S market totaled $12.1 billion for the first six months of 2009.

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