Prospects for the U.S. property/casualty insurance market are unlikely to improve in 2011 as competitive fundamentals continue to promote inadequate pricing, according to Fitch Ratings. Signs of a meaningful shift in market underwriting capacity are not apparent, notes the agency in a new report.

In review of the industry’s capital strength, Fitch revised its rating outlook on both personal and commercial lines insurance sectors to “stable” in September, 2010. The “stable” outlook is based on the industry’s strong capital position and expectations that market pricing conditions are unlikely to improve in the near term, while not reverting to the extreme under-pricing experienced at the beginning of the decade. While investment risk related to rising interest rates, credit losses on municipal bonds and equity market declines remain, industry capital can withstand some asset volatility.

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