The Gradual Incline: MarketScout Composite Rate Up 2% in February

NU Online News Service, March 6, 9:27 a.m. EST

Commercial property and workers’ compensation continue to lead rate increases in MarketScout’s latest survey on market conditions.

The Dallas-based insurance distribution and underwriting company reports a 2 percent increase in the U.S. composite commercial rate index for February.

All coverage classes the survey tracks were up, except for fiduciary and surety, which were flat.

Commercial property and workers’ comp led the way with rate increases of plus 3 percent each in February, according to MarketScout.

The results follow 1 percent increases in the composite rate index during November, December and January.

Until the recent uptick, rates had been down since March 2005. During this time, rates fell to an all-time low of minus 16 percent in December 2007—the lowest decrease since MarketScout began the pricing survey to analyze market conditions in July 2001.

The company “continued to see evidence of a slowly turning market,” says Richard Kerr, chief executive officer of MarketScout, in a statement.

By coverage, business owners, general liability, and umbrella and excess were each up 2 percent. Business interruption, inland marine, commercial auto, professional liability, directors and officers liability, and employment practices liability were each up 1 percent.

By class, news pointed to continued upward momentum. While rates remained unchanged at up 2 percent on a month-to-month basis for medium size accounts, small and large accounts were up 2 percent from 1 percent in January and jumbo accounts were up 1 percent from being flat the prior month.

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