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March 21, 2011

Soft Market Ending, Finally?

Could the soft market finally be over? A new analysis concludes that insurance prices are rising and the prolonged soft market is ending, contrary to earlier reports from other analysts. Virginia-based SNL Financial says personal lines pricing is definitely hardening and commercial lines is moving in that direction such that premium increases can be expected in the coming quarters.

Jon Wright, SNL Financial’s director of insurance, talks about the market with Insurance Journal‘s Andy Simpson in a new podcast.

Buyers could see higher premiums as 2011 continues, particularly in personal auto and homeowners insurance, said Wright. The commercial lines segment is also coming out of its pricing slump, according to the SNL analyst.

The SNL view that the market has turned appears to contradict other recent reports that have concluded the soft market is not yet over and won’t be for some time.

SNL Financial believes it came to a different conclusion because its data is better. It said it analyzes financial information from 2,500 property/casualty insurers. “We’re not just looking at broker-based business; we’re looking at everyone,” said Wright.

To listen to the complete interview with SNL Financial’s Wright, www.insurancejournal.tv/videos/5109/.

The SNL findings drew lots of reader comment, including:

Lost Cause: We have seen greater underwriting discipline recently. We are getting requests for new applications, inspections and numerous questions they weren’t asking last year or the year before. It is called re-underwriting accounts. The problem they are facing is that the economy is weak and they can’t get increases. The customers will shop and the business will be lost because there is always a shark out there who smells blood and will take it to get the business on the books, sometimes by hook or crook.

Japan Effect: The Japan quake will harden reinsurance treaties; the true ultimates are coming to light.

Praying: Dream on! I have been hearing that (actually praying for it) for at least 10 years.

An Offer He Couldn’t Refuse

Insurance Journal blogger Donna Chiapperino, in her recent entry in her blog, “Come Along for the Ride,” lets Ryan Hanley of The Murray Group in New York tell his tale of how he got into the business. Hanley’s story begins:

“My introduction to the insurance business was similar to a scene out of The Godfather Movie. My father-in-law pulls me aside from a family get together and asks that I join him in the study for a private chat…”

Catch the entire tale at www.insurancejournal.com/blogs/the-ride/2011/02/17/186679.htm.

More Ethics Training? Kill Me Now! March is Ethics Awareness Month

This podcast features a discussion with Billy Bond, of The Leavitt Group and James Young of the The Williams Institute for Ethics and Management on Transformative Ethics. Professionals can’t just memorize the rules, standards and sanctions in isolation from society. Ethics is much, much more … it’s about people and relationships. Listen to the podcast at www.insurancejournal.tv/videos/5041/, then take the TWI Ethics Awareness Inventory (free to Insurance Journal listeners), go to: www.ethics-twi.org, click “online ethics assessments,” then click on “Insurance Journal,” type in the word “insurance” (case sensitive).


Check out the InsuranceJournal.com Calendar of Industry Events under Features on the home page. Better yet, be sure to submit your group’s upcoming meets. It’s easy and it’s free.

Topics Market Insurance Journal

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