From the February 20, 2012 issue of National Underwriter Property & Casualty • Subscribe!

Property Insurance Rates Up Across the Board for January

Rates on Commercial All Risk Property policies saw across-the-board increases in January, climbing by nearly 6 percent in some cases, says insurance broker Marsh.

In its “Marsh Insights: Benchmarking Trends,” Marsh says rates rose an average of 5.3 percent last month on all renewals based on its Global Benchmarking Portal for January 2012.

Catastrophe-exposed risks experienced the sharpest increase, with average increases of 5.7 percent. Non-catastrophe exposures rose 5.2 percent on average.

Marsh calls the overall rate changes “relatively modest” in 2011’s fourth quarter.

“While clients with significant losses in 2011 or heavy [catastrophe] exposures are more likely to experience considerable rate increases at their upcoming renewals, the January 2012 chart illustrates that insurers are continuing their upward pressure on rates across the board,” Marsh says.

The trend toward increases is expected to continue through the first quarter of this year “as this transitional market continues to shift,” says Marsh.

Marsh says that 58 percent of January renewals received increases, while 20 percent were unchanged and 22 percent managed decreased rates. This compares with 51 percent seeing increases in 2011’s fourth quarter and 15 percent seeing no change. Thirty-four percent experienced decreases, which was the same as Q3 2011.

“While this analysis provides further evidence of the trend of ever-rising share of placements with rate increases, it is clear that there are flat-to-modest decreases available for some clients,” the report says.

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