NU Online News Service, Nov. 29, 12:58 p.m. EST

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After nine months, U.S. property and casualty reinsurers saw netincome rise to $6.27 billion, nearly five times what the same groupof reinsurers recorded during the same time in 2009.

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About $4.2 billion of the total combined net income from 19 U.S.reinsurers followed by the Reinsurance Association of America (RAA)came from National Indemnity Company (NICO), which reported a netloss of about $292 million a year ago during the same time.

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Earlier this year, NICO, a member of the Berkshire HathawayGroup, received $1.6 billion in legacy asbestos and environmentalpollution liabilities from CNA Financial Corp.

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According to RAA's report, premiums written dropped about 2.3percent in the first nine months of 2010 compared to last year.

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The group followed in the RAA report recorded $18.3 billion innet premiums as of Sept. 30 compared to $18.7 billion a year ago,the RAA said, adding that the combined ratio for these companiesworsened to 96.6 from 95.1 for the same period in 2009.

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Comparing the first nine months year-to-year, the loss ratioworsened to 66.8 from 64.8, but the expense ratio improved to 29.8from 30.2.

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The group's policyholder surplus rose to $103.9 billion,compared to $99.7 billion at the end of the first half of 2010 and$74.1 billion at Sept. 30, 2009, the RAA said.

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