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Dealing with insurance companies for over 35 years has convinced me that they have an amazing ability to profit from just about every tragedy experienced by policyholders. They have perfected techniques to find the silver lining in every dark cloud.

Market Watch trumpets the accomplishments of the insurance industry in 2005 and 2006:

The Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that property-casualty insurance carriers in 2005 earned a record $48.8 billion and increased their surplus to over $427 billion. Industry experts are forecasting a $60 billion industry profit in 2006, and the III boasts that current underwriting performance — the profit derived from premiums minus claims payouts, excluding investment income — is “the best in a generation (or two).”

‘Sweet are the uses of adversity’

Commentary: Are insurers reeling from disaster or reeling in the profits?

Following every major disaster or scandal, a simple formula protects insurance industry profits: raise rates, reduce coverage and deny claims.

Insurance has been called the quadruple “D” business: Death, Disease, Disaster and Destruction. The industry needs the four “D’s” to create a demand for its product. And the Katrina and Rita calamities show the how much the rest of us need for the industry to deliver honest, real-life, risk-transfer insurance. Instead, policyholders receive miserly claims service, increasing premiums and narrowing coverage.

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