The insurance industry has regained a considerable amount of financial ground lost during the economic crisis, a new survey finds.  

According to the Highline Data Performance Monitor, property/casualty insurance industry net income nearly tripled in 2009, to $35 billion. This gain was caused by an 11.3 % decline in net losses incurred, attributable to the absence of major catastrophes. Despite the bounce back, the $35 billion tally still trails the $68.7 billion the industry gained in 2007. The combined ratio for the industry also fell to 101.3%, down from 105.1% in 2008.

Life insurers also had a better year, recording a 15.2 % return on equity and a $76.2 billion net gain from operations, more than triple the $17.6 billion tallied in 2008. However, investment income was down to $154.5 billion, a five-year low.

"Our findings suggest that property/casualty companies will continue to strive to contain expenses and further reduce their combined ratios while life companies will continue to rebuild capital and improve investment yields this year." Laurie Dallaire, VP and director of Highline Data, said in a statement.    

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