Households are reducing their financial obligations, which mean one thing to the insurance industry: impeded growth.

Speaking at the 22nd Annual Executive Conference for the Property and Casualty Industry, presented by The National Underwriter Company in New York last month, Steven N. Weisbart, a senior vice president and chief economist for the Insurance Information Institute, said consumers' diminished buying power, especially for financial products, will continue to stand in the way of growth for insurers.

Simply put, the country is not recovering after the latest recession as quickly as it has after past recessions. Using graphics to prove his point, Mr. Weisbart showed that the gross domestic product grew over 3 percent after past recessions, but growth is expected at a slower rate since the most recent recession.

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