Risk manager Lance Ewing at Caesars Entertainment Inc. in Las Vegas hit the jackpot on his most recent property insurance renewal. With 29 casino resorts and riverboats to insure, Ewing was

able to increase the policy's financial limits, decrease the deductible and still reap a small premium savings. He chalks up the bonanza to a combination of strong risk management and a softening property insurance market. "We stepped up our property conservation program, looking for ways to do things to protect our physical properties from the standpoint of potential losses," says Caesars' vice president of risk management. "I feel pretty confident about the property insurance market."

Unfortunately, Ewing can't be so optimistic about Caesars' various liability insurance policies. This summer, when most of the policies are set to expire, he will face having to renegotiate a typical mix of workers compensation, directors and officers coverage, employment practices liability, commercial automobile, fiduciary liability and general liability policies. And while the state of the liability market is nowhere near as chaotic as it was in 2002 and 2003, Ewing feels pretty certain he will face higher costs on most, if not all, the policies. But from his point of view, there is one positive note: At least some of the post-Enron hysteria has been squeezed out of the system. "I think the merry-go-round where liability policies go up or down 10% to 15% for an entire industry is ending," he explains. "Instead, individual companies are on their own roller coasters. Premiums will go up or down based on an underwriter's opinion of individual risk."

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