The Los Angeles Times is reporting US insurance companies posted records profits last year -- despite the huge damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. In total, the insurance industry pulled in a record $44.8 billion profit – an 18% percent increase over the year before. The Los Angeles Times says the profits reflect a broader trend of "a shift of financial risks from business and often government to individual households." Fred Cripe, the Vice President of insurance giant AllState said: "If last year's hurricane season had occurred 10 years ago, it would have been devastating for the company. Last year, it was merely disappointing."