While there are always a number of wild cards in play, it couldbe said that performance in the Property & Casualty insurancemarket in 2015 will depend greatly on two things: the impact of newcapacity on rate pricing, and whether or not Mother Nature'srelative streak of kindness will last.

With few natural catastrophes of any great significance againthis year, property rates in particular will see declines.(Editor's Note: At the time of this writing, claims figures forthe historic Buffalo snowstorm have yet to be tallied.) Ratesin property have been falling for several consecutive periods, inpart as a result of low loss numbers; Swiss Re reports thatworldwide property losses totaled $21 billion for the first sixmonths of 2014, compared with $25 billion during the same period in2013. This trend is expected to continue.

Lower-than-usual catastrophe losses have contributed to overallsoftening conditions in the P&C market, and as long as thatremains the case—and capital remains abundant, which isexpected—soft-market conditions should remain the norm in the yearto come. Insurers have been lowering rates for P&C coverage onmost accounts as global insured cat losses continue to hover belowthe 10-year average, and reinsurance grows ever cheaper, thanks tocompetition spurred by the influx of an estimated $20 billion inalternative capital that has poured into the reinsurancemarket.

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Shawn Moynihan

Shawn Moynihan is Editor-in-Chief of National Underwriter Property & Casualty. A St. John’s University alum, Moynihan has earned 11 Jesse H. Neal Awards, the Pulitzers of the business press; seven Azbee Awards, from the American Society of Business Press Editors; two Folio Awards; and a SABEW award, from the Society of American Business Editors & Writers. Prior to joining ALM, he served as Managing Editor/Online Editor of journalism institution Editor & Publisher, the trade bible of the newspaper industry. Moynihan also has held editorial positions with AOL, Metro New York, and Newhouse Newspapers. He can be reached at [email protected].