Commercial Insurance Prices in U.S. Stayed Flat in Q3: Willis Towers Watson

December 11, 2017

Commercial insurance prices in the U.S. were again nearly flat during the third quarter of 2017. Price changes reported by carriers averaged less than one percent for the ninth consecutive quarter, following a moderating trend in price increases that began in the first quarter of 2013, according to Willis Towers Watson’s Commercial Lines Insurance Pricing Survey (CLIPS).

The survey by the global insurance broker and consultant compared prices charged on policies written during the third quarter of 2017 with those charged for the same coverage during the equivalent quarter in 2016.

Price changes in the third quarter for most lines of business were fairly consistent with changes reported in the second quarter. Data for workers’ compensation and directors and officers’ liability indicated modest price decreases, while commercial property prices moved towards moderation with only a slight decrease.

The outlier in the survey results continues to be commercial auto, where meaningful price increases were again reported and have been accelerating. For most other lines, price changes fell in the low single digits. Price changes were positive for small account sizes and fairly flat for mid-market and large accounts.

“Through three quarters of 2017, preliminary data indicate little movement in P&C commercial insurers’ loss ratios (excluding the impact of catastrophes) — an improvement from last quarter — as insurers revised downward their earlier initial estimates of claim cost inflation,” said Pierre Laurin, Americas Property & Casualty sales and practice leader for Insurance Consulting and Technology, Willis Towers Watson.

CLIPS data are based on both new and renewal business figures obtained directly from carriers underwriting the business. According toWillis Towers Watson, CLIPS participants represent a cross section of U.S. property/casualty insurers that includes many of the top 10 commercial lines companies and the top 25 insurance groups in the U.S. For the most recent survey, 39 participating insurers representing approximately 20 percent of the U.S. commercial insurance market (excluding state workers’ compensation funds) contributed data.

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