Commercial Rates Fell 2% in April: MarketScout

May 9, 2016

Commercial insurance prices fell 2 percent for April as compared to 3 percent in March and 4 percent in January and February 2016.

Rates changed in most coverage classifications with property, business interruption, business owners (BOP), inland marine, workers’ compensation, general liability, and fiduciary all moderating by 1 percent as compared to March. Umbrella, auto, directors and officers, employment practices liability, crime, professional and surety were unchanged, according to MarketScout’s monthly index.

“It seems we may have a reversal of sentiment. Rates are moderating. We are only seven months into a soft market that has so far yielded a maximum composite rate decrease of minus 4 percent. This soft market may be limited in length and severity,” said Richard Kerr, CEO of MarketScout, whose firm produces the monthly barometer along with the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research.

Kerr said a limited soft market would be a “bit surprising noting the current ample market capacity” but “more sophisticated underwriting tools seem to be limiting market swings.”

Small account rates (under $25,000) were down 1 percent from March to April. All other accounts sizes were down 2 percent in April 2016 as compared to down 4 percent in March 2016.

Transportation accounts adjusted more than any other industry classification from minus 4 percent in March 2016 to minus 2 percent in April 2016. Manufacturing, habitational, public entity and energy accounts all moderated 1 percent in April. Contracting and service accounts remained unchanged from March to April.

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