Profitability in the property/casualty insurance industry rebounded sharply in the first half of 2013 due to premium growth, a reduction in catastrophe losses and favorable prior year reserve development, according to new results released by the Insurance Information Institute.

The industry’s combined ratio fell to 97.9 in the first half of 2013 from 101.9 in the first half of 2012—leading to an underwriting profit of $2.3 billion. I.I.I. commented that this improvement is “much needed in an era of persistent, ultra-low interest rates.”

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