Weak pricing and significantly higher catastrophe-related losses contributed to Fitch Ratings’ recent evaluation of the P&C universe. According to the ratings firm’s new report, flat or reduced premiums—in many cases—and poorer underwriting results in 2008, contributed to the tumbling net profits of the U.S. property/casualty insurance industry. Nonetheless, the large majority of insurers in the group reported an underwriting profit for the year.

In a the report, Fitch evaluates full year 2008 industry performance based on a compilation of GAAP earnings release and 10-K filing data from 49 property/casualty insurance organizations.

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