With ratings alone as evidence, the financial strength of the U.S. property/casualty industry continues its upward momentum, and the life/health sector is finally showing signs of improvement. In two separate reports, ratings firm A.M. Best cites its own upgrades and downgrades as verification of the health of each insurance sector.
According to its report on the property/casualty sector, financial results improved again in 2010, and slightly more rating units were upgraded in 2010 than were downgraded, in contrast to 2009. A.M. Best cites volatility in property lines as a residual challenge for geographically concentrated personal lines carriers, stating this contributed to negative rating actions due to frequent wind, hail and tornado activity. For commercial lines carriers, strategic affiliations and carriers being acquired by higher-rated entities resulted in upgrades outpacing downgrades in 2010.
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