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Marsh: Global Property Rates Rising Even in Non-Cat-Exposed Areas

NU Online News Service, April 10, 3:12 p.m. EST

While the general consensus for global property-insurance rates has been that rates in catastrophe-exposed areas are rising while rates in areas without such exposures are remaining flat, pricing during the 2012 first quarter is showing property rates climbing across the board, according to Marsh.

In its latest Global Insurance Market Quarterly Briefing, Marsh says property-insurance rates are rising in most geographies, with non-catastrophe-exposed property risks in the U.S. climbing by up to 10 percent. Catastrophe-exposed risks in the U.S., meanwhile, increased between 10 percent and 20 percent, Marsh says.

Around the globe, Marsh says it expects rates to continue rising moderately for both catastrophe- and non-catastrophe-exposed risks.

Rate increases are largely being driven by insurers attempting to recoup losses incurred from extensive catastrophes in 2011, the briefing states. Marsh says that 2011 “was the second-most-costly year for overall insured losses, had the highest ever level of insured earthquake losses, and, in Thailand, saw the most costly single flood event in history.”

For liability markets, Marsh says pricing around the globe has “generally remained stable, with most classes either flat or experiencing slight decreases at renewal as capacity remained plentiful.

Marsh notes that the U.S. primary-casualty market “continued to show signs of stress. Overall, rates are expected to increase, although in a tight range—typically flat-to-5-percent increase at renewal—for all lines of casualty business.” 

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.

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