Operating performance for U.S. property/casualty insurers has improved substantially in the first six months, according to “U.S. Property/Casualty Insurers' Mid-Year 2012 Financial Results,” from Fitch Ratings.

In aggregate, the combined ratio of 47 publicly-traded insurers and reinsurers was 96.2 percent for the first six months of this year, compared to 107.9 percent for the same period last year, attributable to reductions in catastrophe-related losses, which were down to approximately 4 percent of earned premium from 16 percent in the same period last year. Premium rate increases and other underwriting actions led to modest core loss ratio improvements.

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