Insurance: Casualties Ahead

Practically every American carries some casualty insurance to protect him against damages—and 600 of the 4,800 U.S. insurance companies sell it. As it turns out, those firms could use some casualty insurance themselves. While the rest of the $40 billion insurance industry is prospering, most property-casualty companies are losing money on their insurance operations. Several major companies have recently reported losses or decreases in earnings, and last week Chicago's Continental Casualty Co., one of the industry's giants, announced that its first-half underwriting losses reached $17.6 million. Continental admitted that its small net profit of $372,000 had been made possible...

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