So how long will the hard market last? That's the $64,000 question. I hear that at one meeting of senior managers within a top six insurer, the chairman asked everyone to write their best guess of when the market would turn soft again. What was the answer? Well, it seems most plumped for about 12 months, with the most bullish reckoning on two years.

With Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett also forecasting a return to flat rates in 12 months, it seems you've just got one chance to fill your boots.