Marsh Says It Only Sees ‘Targeted Correction’ of Rates

By | May 3, 2012

Marsh executives said this week that they are only seeing a “targeted correction” — not a broad-based hard market — in the property/casualty insurance market.

CEO Brian Duperreault said during an earnings call Tuesday, “Is it a hard market? I think not in the definitions we apply.”

“There is some benefit in some areas for carriers in terms of rate, but it is not across the board,” he said. And there are still business lines where rates are continuing to go down, and even whole geographies where rates are down except for cat.

“So, I am not sure what you would call it. So, for us, it’s just a market,” Duperreault said.

Chief Operating Officer and Group President Daniel Glaser added that the market follows levels of losses, and the levels of losses have been specific to geography and to lines of business. “So, it is a pretty targeted correction of rates in certain areas — we don’t see a broad-based blood-in-the-eye hard market where underwriters are walking away from clients en masse,” Glaser said.

“There is still competition for new business. There is still innovation in the insurance market. So overall, it’s a market without a tremendous amount of conviction in either direction.”

This week, Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. reported $347 million profit for its 2012 first quarter, up 6.8 percent from $325 million reported during the same period in 2011.

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