Wrapping up 2009 – Part I

As the end of the year approaches, it’s a good time to review the most significant events of 2009 for the insurance industry. Among the various year-end musings offered by our fellow insurance bloggers, National Underwriter’s Sam Friedman reminds us that 2009 could have been worse. Some of the positives? The property/casualty insurance market, while still soft on the commercial lines side, at least began to stabilize. Insurers were also spared any major natural or man-made disasters compared to the multi-event years seen far too often in this decade, Friedman notes. And despite the coverage crisis headlines, Chinese drywall is far from becoming “the next asbestos.† In a similar vein Business Insurance’s Rodd Zolkos offers a not-so-fond farewell to a tough, testing year noting that another item on the plus side of this year’s ledger was the mild hurricane season – the calmest in 12 years, according to the I.I.I. From the buyers’ perspective Zolkos points out that another positive was that expectations of a market hardening in the fourth quarter of 2009 never came to fruition. Meanwhile, Alex Ferguson of Reinsurance Magazine’s blog-re.com gives us his good year/bad year take on 2009 from the reinsurance perspective. And Risk Management magazine takes a look back at some of the year’s most captivating risk-related images, describing 2009 as a year marked not by any one event but by trends that will have lasting repercussions for years to come.

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