At year-end 2011, U.S. insurers' reserves were redundant by $11.7 billion – or 2 percent of total booked reserves – compared with $22 billion at year-end 2010 after the industry released $12.7 billion of reserves during 2011, according to an Aon Benfield study. The favorable emergence of reserves was at the 29th percentile of the estimated range of outcomes.

The year-end figure is comprised of redundancies in personal lines of $7.6 billion ($6.5 billion for 2010), commercial property of $1 billion ($1.5 billion for 2010), and commercial liability of $6.7 billion ($9.9 billion for 2010), offset by deficiencies in workers' compensation of $1.7 billion ($6.5 billion redundant), and financial guaranty of $1.8 billion ($2.4 billion). The effects of the U.S. economic downturn and less favorable trends in loss frequency and severity have resulted in a significant shift in the level of reserve adequacy for workers' compensation compared to the year-end 2010 study.

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