NU Online News Service, Nov. 16, 2:33 p.m. EDT

The decline in reserve releases could indicate that the property and casualty market is set for a turn in the cycle that could come as soon as 2012, according to a financial analyst's report.

Reviewing 54 insurers' third-quarter earnings for this year, Stifel Nicolaus said in an analyst's note that year-over-year reserve releases declined by almost 23 percent, indicating that the industry is nearing the point where releases will "stop masking accident-year underwriting result deterioration."

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