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Large and midsize U.S. businesses decided against seeking out greener pastures when it came to purchases for their primary insurance programs of workers compensation, auto and general liability. According to a new study by Marsh Inc., a leading risk and insurance services provider, only one in nine companies dropped their insurer in 2005, as compared to 2004, when one in four companies switched–a sign of satisfied customers and a relatively stable insurance market. There’s good cause for that satisfaction, too. “The overall cost of risk dropped 3%,” says George Pallis, a managing director in Marsh’s U.S. Casualty Practice, in spite of concerns that insurers would hike rates to make up for hurricane-related property losses. In fact, the market has softened for most primary casualty coverage as competition from new carriers increased. The study is based on data from 1,638 businesses and government entities.

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