D&O Prices Down, Auto Up in Q3; Other Commercial Lines Stable

December 13, 2016

Price decreases accelerated for directors and officers insurance in the 2016 third quarter, a period during which commercial insurance prices generally remained flat once again overall.

The latest Willis Towers Watson’s Commercial Lines Insurance Pricing Survey showed prices charged on 2016 third-quarter policies were virtually unchanged overall versus the same period in 2015. What’s more, the CLIPS survey found, carriers have reported price changes of less than 1 percent for four consecutive quarters now.

Price increases have been on an ongoing moderating trend since the 2013 first quarter.

For Q3, workers compensation, commercial property and surety bonds saw “modest price decreases,” according to Willis Towers Watson, though price declines for directors and officers appeared to both grow and accelerate. Willis Towers Watson did not disclose specific D&O figures.

Aon, however, reported relatively moderate declines in its own 2016 third quarter D&O pricing index. Aon said that the D&O price per million was down 2.9 percent during the quarter compared to the same period in 2015. Price per million for clients that renewed in both the 2016 and 2015 third quarters dipped 2.8 percent, the report found.

D&O pricing declines are hitting even as D&O Liabilities are becoming more complex around the globe. A recent report from Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty noted that company directors and senior managers are increasingly likely to face costly regulatory investigations, criminal prosecutions or civil litigation. If this bears out, their companies’ assets and their own assets and personal liberty are at risk, the report said.

One exception to the rule of price stagnation or decline continued to be commercial auto, which Willis Towers Watson said continues to experience “meaningful price increases” and even an acceleration of the trend in some cases. That is, of course, due to worsening loss trends.

“Unfavorable loss trends persisted in commercial auto,” Alejandra Nolibos, director in Willis Towers Watson’s Americas Property & Casualty Insurance practice, said in prepared remarks. “But initial loss ratio indications suggest that insurers are achieving price increases that help hold the line.”

Overall, price dips for most lines dropped by the “low single digits,” according to the CLIPS report.

Price changes were similar across each segment, Willis Towers Watson said, though they were a bit negative for larger accounts and slightly positive for smaller and mid-market accounts.

Also worth noting, specialty account price changes in the aggregate continued to be slightly negative.

Willis Towers Watson said that participating carriers reported claim cost information that indicates a loss ratio improvement of nearly 2 points in 2015. But there has been “a slight deterioration in aggregate as of the 2016 third quarter.”

Sources: Willis Towers Watson, Aon

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