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The Commercial Auto segment recorded its first underwriting loss in eight years in 2011 due to a combination of declining premiums, increasing claims severity and a reduction in favorable prior-year reserve releases, a new report reveals.

In its “Commercial Auto Market Update,” Fitch Ratings says the line posted a combined ratio of 103.6 in 2011. Fitch says that on an accident-year basis and examining only liability for Commercial Auto, the underwriting losses began in 2009.

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