2012 Commercial Lines Ratings Outlook Negative: A.M. Best

January 9, 2012

The rating outlook for U.S. commercial property/casualty insurance remains negative, while the outlook for personal lines is stable, according to a briefing from A.M. Best Co.

The ratings firm said it continues to maintain a stable outlook in 2012 for the personal lines property/casualty segment, which implies that the majority of 2012 insurance company rating actions for this segment are likely to be affirmations, with a fairly balanced distribution of negative and positive rating actions.

Despite a mending economy and some encouraging signs of price firming, A.M. Best said it maintains its negative outlook for the commercial lines segment for 2012. This outlook implies that while the vast majority of rating actions will be affirmations, negative rating actions will outnumber positive rating actions during the year.

The firm said that divergent trends are influencing rating outlooks for the various segments, with personal lines continuing to benefit from solid performance in auto insurance, and commercial lines carrying on the struggle to turn pricing decisively upward. Balance sheets remain strong but susceptible to threats in both segments.

A copy of the outlook can be found here.

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