Amounting to just $4.7 billion in aggregate deal value, 46 merger and acquisition transactions announced in the property/casualty insurance sector in 2012 were near record low levels, according to the latest annual M&A study from Conning.

In the last 10 years, there was only one year with fewer P/C insurance deals than 2012, notes Jerry Theodorou, vice president and analyst for the Hartford, Conn.-based research and insurance asset management firm. That year was 2004, he says, noting that a “classic hard market” was in full swing in 2004 and “there was no reason to engage in M&A.”

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