Thursday, April 06, 2006

Insurers Want Rate Hike Depite Record Gains, Shift Catastrophic Losses to Consumers

Insurers' Record Gains, Shift Catastrophic Losses to Consumers

The homeowners and auto insurance industry made a record $44.8 billion profit last year, despite claims payments from Hurricane Katrina and other big storms, according to information filed with state regulators. Executives report an 18.7 percent increase in profit over the previous year; yet, industry spokesmen say there are problems that can be fixed only with rate hikes, scaling back coverage in disaster-prone areas of the nation and an expanded role of state and federal governments in insuring consumers against large catastrophes. Part of the industry's "remarkable" performance is the result of a 12-year effort by insurers to insulate themselves, including shifting risk from companies to policyholders and the public. Peter G. Gosselin, LA Times 04/05/2006 LA Times

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