NU Online News Service, Dec. 06, 10:30 a.m. EST

The soft-market cycle is over, according to MarketScout.

Richard Kerr, chief executive officer of the insurance distribution and underwriting company, says that “the soft-market cycle has finally broken” after nearly seven years.

“November 2011 is the first composite-rate increase since the soft market began in February 2005,” he adds in the company’s November Market Barometer report.

Compared to the same month a year ago, commercial rates for every coverage class are at least flat, with 2 percent increase in commercial property, business owners’ policies, and workers’ compensation.

Broken down by industry class, 1 percent increases were seen in manufacturing, contracting, habitational, transportation and energy. Rates were flat for service and public entity classes.

Rates were down for transportation and energy when compared to MarketScout’s analysis in October. Transportation was up 3 percent and energy was up 2 percent in October, according to MarketScout.

The only downward rates seen in MarketScout’s November analysis were witnessed when results were broken down by account size. Jumbo accounts (over $1 million) measured a 1 percent rate decrease.

Small accounts (up to $25,000) were up 2 percent, medium accounts ($25,000 to $250,000) were up 1 percent and large accounts ($250,000 to $ 1 million) were flat, according to MarketScout.