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P&C insurance rates are rising, and pricing momentum is expected to continue through 2012, but some observers say increases might moderate in 2013 and that the industry will not see a hard market marked by strong underwriting profitability.

In a Special Comment on Q2 earnings published Aug. 20, Moody’s Investors Service says insurers have seen strong earnings growth through the first half of the year, driven by lower catastrophe losses and increased premium growth. Moody’s says rate increases broadened in the second quarter relative to the first, leading to a 6-percent year-over-year increase in net written premiums, up from a 4-percent increase in the first quarter.

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