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P/C market continues softening trend: MarketScout


DALLAS--The commercial property/casualty market continued to soften in September, with the composite rate down 8% compared with a year earlier, according to a report released by MarketScout on Thursday.

The Dallas-based insurance exchange reported no increases in the average rates for any of the 13 commercial lines it tracked. In a statement accompanying the report, MarketScout Chief Executive Officer Richard Kerr said the softening conditions should continue absent a catastrophe.

"If 2006 closes out without a significant hurricane or other catastrophic event, this market will continue heading south," said Mr. Kerr. "Even the coastal property market will adjust a bit. Currently, there are few insurers with wind capacity in the Gulf Coast and the lower Atlantic seaboard, but that will change if we close out 2006 without a significant wind event."

MarketScout reported that accounts over $250,000 softened considerably, with rate decreases of 10% to 11% compared with decreases of 8% in the prior month.