BY MARK E. RUQUET AND
Rates are rising, multiple studies agree—even global- property rates in non-catastrophe-exposed areas. But at least
one firm, aLirt insurance research,
maintains the industry has not yet
reached its “tipping point” for a hard-market turn.
in March, says Dallas-based online-insurance exchange Marketscout,
commercial-insurance rates climbed
by 3 percent, outpacing February’s
Marketscout says Commercial
Property and Workers’
Compensation lines led the way
with increases of 4 percent. Other
lines of business were up 1-2
percent. Fiduciary and Crime were
the exceptions, coming in flat.
“Our results continue to show a slow
and steady path toward rate increases in all
segments, be it by line of coverage, industry
group or accounts size,” says Marketscout
CeO richard Kerr.
By account size, small, medium
and large accounts were up 3 percent
while jumbo accounts (with more than
$1 million in premium) were up 2 percent.
in another sign of price-shifting, an
april 10 report by Marsh states that in Q1
2012, global-property insurance rates rose
in both catastrophe- and non-catastrophe-exposed areas. Previously, reports had
indicated that only catastrophe-exposed
regions were seeing rate increases.
in the U.s., Marsh says non-
risks climbed by up to 10 percent.
Catastrophe-exposed risks, meanwhile,
increased between 10 percent and 20
around the globe, Marsh says
it expects rates to continue rising
moderately for both catastrophe-
Marsh says the U.s.
to show signs of
stress in the quarter,
and rates overall are
expected to increase,
although in a tight
range—typically a flat-to-
5-percent increase at
renewal—for all lines.”
the Workers’ Compensation market
in the U.s. saw combined ratios at their
highest levels in more than a decade in
2011, Marsh says, as claims frequency and
severity continued to grow.
However, while property and casualty
rates are undoubtedly on the upswing,
aLirt maintains that there is still no
concrete evidence of a hard-market turn
because financial indicators have not
reached a tipping point.
the Windsor, Conn.-based firm, in its
“Year end 2011 P&C industry review,”
says that in analyzing trends for the past 17
years for the leading 100 U.s. personal- and
commercial-lines insurers, the financial
stress insurers experienced last year is not
close to past hard-market-turn experience.
NUMBER OF THE WEEK:
The P&C industry’s invested assets—about two-thirds of which
is in fixed-income securities, says
Moody’s Investors Service
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