It is now quite likely that the U.S. property/casualty insurance industry will show two consecutive years of positive premium growth (2010 and 2011) – for the first time since 2005 and 2006, according to I.I.I. president Dr. Robert Hartwig.

Dr. Hartwig made the prediction in his commentary on the industry’s 2010 year-end results.

Positive premium growth for the year – at 0.9 percent – is the first since 2006 and confirms that the era of mass exposure destruction in the property/casualty insurance industry is finally over, with demand for insurance now beginning to stabilize and recover in the aftermath of the “Great Recession.”…

Looking ahead to 2011, the U.S. P/C insurance industry will remain very strong financially despite enormous catastrophe losses abroad, the vast majority of which will be borne by foreign insurers and international reinsurers.”

The industry reported an annualized rate of return on average surplus of 6.5 percent for 2010. The year’s result compares favorably with 2009’s rate of return of 5.8 percent and the recession battered 0.6 percent rate of return in 2008, Dr. Hartwig noted.

Overall net income after taxes (profits) for the year increased by $6.0 billion to $34.7 billion from $28.7 billion in 2009.

The industry’s 2010 year-end results were just released by ISO and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).