While the property/casualty industry still appears to have sufficient reserves, its overall position deteriorated in 2008, continuing a trend that began in 2007, according to a new study by Conning Research and Consulting, Hartford, Conn.

"Significant releases occurred in most lines of business, with an average benefit of almost three points in calendar-year loss ratio, compared with what would have been reported had no releases taken place," said Stephan Christiansen, director of research at Conning Research & Consulting. "The most significant releases, in terms of dollars, were in the most recent accident years of liability lines, and in workers' compensation. These lines are the most difficult to assess, and future rates of settlement and claim emergence must be watched closely."

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