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Two-thirds of the names on NU’s exclusive annual list of the Top 100 P&C insurance groups saw net-premiums written increase in 2010—but combined ratios worsened for almost as many.

Sixty-five out of the 100 groups (ranked by net-premiums written in 2010) recorded premium jumps last year, with just about all of the double-digit leaps explained by acquisitions, not organic growth.

Taken together, the P&C industry overall achieved only 0.7 percent growth in net-premiums written. But that meager rise stopped a three-year slide that began in 2008.

On the profit side, the industry’s measure of underwriting profits and losses—the combined ratio—exceeded the breakeven figure of 100 for 57 of the top 100 insurers. A combined ratio essentially compares losses and expenses incurred to premiums, with results over 100 signifying underwriting losses.

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