While it still may technically be a good commercial insurance market for risk managers, with flat rates predicted until at least late next year, top buyers and other experts warn there are caveats–such as extra time required to place accounts, new demands for transparency on both sides, and negotiations required over not just price, but terms and conditions as well.

“It is a buyer’s market,” according to Steve Levene, practice leader for retail insurance brokerage business at Towers Perrin in Stamford, Conn. “The question is, are we at the bottom of the market, and how do we know?”

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