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The inland-marine marketplace mirrors many other insurance segments as carriers continue to deal with a soft rate environment. The market is “fierce” and “continues to be competitive,” says Joseph Tracy, president of Travelers Inland Marine. “There’s more competition, with a couple of [new] entries” looking to cash in on a historically profitable line of business.

But those entering the field—as well as established players—aren’t likely to have an easy go of it, at least for the foreseeable future.

Jerry Theodorou, vice president of insurance research and publications for Conning, says reports of economic recovery are “not too encouraging” in the short term. Construction remains sluggish. Loss costs are rising.

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