Commercial Insurance Rates, Except Auto and Flood, Still Falling: CIAB

October 29, 2015

Commercial property/casualty insurance prices continued to decline moderately — an average of 3.1 percent— during the third quarter, according to a survey by The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers.

The CIAB survey showed a continued decline in commercial P/C insurance rates across all account sizes and most lines. This is consistent with the general trend of gradually declining rates observed since the first quarter of 2013.

According to the index, while rates decreased across all lines by an average of 3.1 percent, the largest decreases in large accounts came in at 4.1 percent, followed by medium-sized accounts at 3.8 percent, and small accounts at 1.4 percent. This trend was consistent across most lines of business as well, with a few exceptions, including commercial auto and flood.

“We continued to hear from our members that this is a buyers’ market,” said Ken A. Crerar, president and CEO of The Council. “Competition was fierce and carriers were willing to give on rate in order to retain good accounts.”

Average Third Quarter 2015 Commercial Pricing Declines Source: The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers. Chart prepared by Barclays Research.
Average Third Quarter 2015 Commercial Pricing Declines
Source: The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers. Chart prepared by Barclays Research.

Business interruption, commercial property, general liability, umbrella and workers’ compensation were the lines commercial brokers most often cited as having declining rates, CIAB said.

Crerar said that workers’ compensation rate deceases are noteworthy in light of concerns that medical costs might rise and health care costs could be shifted to workers’ compensation programs.

The market did see a slight uptick in rates for commercial auto and flood. Flood insurance rates continued to rise, especially in the Southeast and Pacific Northwest regions, as rate increases, assessments and surcharges continued to be implemented by the National Flood Insurance Program and the Write Your Own carriers, according to the commercial insurance brokers’ association.

Source: The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers

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