Filed Under:Risk Management, Public Sector Risk

Transportation Insurance Market Crowded Even As Prices Keep Falling

Premiums for commercial transportation insurance business continued falling for almost all types of accounts in the second quarter of 2010, but the number of insurers writing transportation business rose, according to a recent survey of market participants.

The second-quarter survey known as TIPS--an acronym for Transportation Insurance Pricing Survey--from NIP Group, a Woodbridge, N.J.-based wholesale broker and program manager, tallies the responses to questions about market conditions from leading transportation insurance brokers, wholesalers and underwriters representing thousands of account placements, NIP says.

Mr. Hutelmyer, who gave an example of historical price changes in an article he authored for NU's Feb. 24, 2003 edition--citing an average liability tractor-trailor price of $5,302 for $1 million of coverage per power unit in 1985--said the same risk would be priced at around $4,600 in 2010.

Even after considering medical and other types of inflation, "the tractor-trailer price is less than it was 20 years ago, which is scary," he said.

NU's comparison of the latest survey with prior reports reveals that even segments showing the lowest declines in second-quarter 2010, such as charter buses and airport ground transportation, show greater premium drops than they did in the same quarter a year ago.

For airport ground transportation, for example, one-third of respondents reported no change in premiums last year, while the remainder reported increases in second-quarter 2009. In second-quarter 2010, in contrast, 68 percent reported declines.

At NIP Group, Mr. Augustyn identified the intermodal segment of the transportation market as an area of opportunity for the future. "We're certainly in an import-export economy," he said, explaining why this segment, relating to the movement of freight vehicles or containers on trucks between other modes of transportation (ship, railroad), should grow over time.

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