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U.S. property/casualty insurers on 'solid financial footing': S&P


NEW YORK—U.S. property/casualty insurers are “generally on solid financial footing,” according to an analysis released Wednesday by Standard & Poor’s Corp.

The report—“Stable Demand and an Ability to Withstand Losses Should Support U.S. Property/Casualty Insurers’ Financial Performance”—said that U.S.-based insurers have “very strong” balance sheets and can withstand large catastrophes and manage asset, credit and underwriting risks.

“We expect modestly positive premium growth in 2012, largely because of rate increases stemming from last year’s catastrophe activity and payroll additions.”

S&P added, however, that the rating agency does not expect rate increases to be uniform across all lines of business.

The report also sounded a cautionary note, in part because insurers continue to face a sluggish economy. Other factors that could impact insurers’ performance include reinvestment risk owing to low investment yields and “potentially inadequate reserve levels.”