P&C Rates Continue Upward Momentum

NU Online News Service, April 5, 10:55 a.m. EST

Property and casualty insurance rates are continuing their climb upward with evidence that commercial lines and personal lines are showing low single digit increases, according to MarketScout.

The online insurance exchange based in Dallas says commercial lines rates rose 3 percent in March compared to 2 percent increase in February. For personal lines, overall rate increases remained steady at 2 percent on a year-over-year basis.

“Our results continue to show a slow and steady path towards rate increases in all segments, be it by line of coverage, industry group or accounts size,” says Richard Kerr, chief executive officer of MarketScout referring to the commercial lines segment.

On the commercial lines side, 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 exception coming in flat.

Last month, both commercial property and workers’ comp were up 3 percent and most other lines were up 1-2 percent. Fiduciary was flat last month, but crime was up 1 percent. Surety, which was flat in February, was up 1 percent in March.

By account size, small, medium and large accounts were up 3 percent while jumbo accounts (over $1 million in premium) were up 2 percent.

In February, small, medium and large accounts were up 2 percent and jumbo accounts were up 1 percent.

On the personal lines side, homeowners insurance for homes valued under $1 million was up 3 percent while homes valued over $1 million rose 1 percent.

“Owners of homes valued over $1 million generally pay a lower rate for insuring their exposures because they are viewed as more desirable from an underwriting standpoint,” says Kerr.

Both automobile and personal articles were up 2 percent from the previous year.

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