Many in the insurance industry, no doubt, are anxious to close out 2008, and not look back on what has been one of the most turbulent and, therefore, challenging years for commerce in our lifetimes.

For the majority of our readers, the new year holds something of a paradox: increased turbulence often leads to excessive caution. And for risk-averse insurers, this is especially true. In fact, one of the most difficult decisions an insurer can make is whether to remain focused on wringing full potential from its core customers or instead, focus on courting sources of new potential in new markets. According to Boston-based consulting firm Bain & Co. Inc., the former holds less risk than the latter.

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