NU Online News Service, March 13, 11:16 a.m.EDT

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There has been a lot of anecdotal talk that personal linesinsurance rates are on the increase, and now a longtime monitor ofthe commercial-lines markets has released figures giving evidenceof the overall rise in the personal lines insurance space.

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Dallas-based electronic insurance exchange MarketScout, whichfor years now has issued a monthly indicator on the commercialinsurance lines market direction, today released its first personallines rate barometer indicating U.S. personal lines insurance ratesincreased by 2 percent during the month of February from the sameperiod last year.

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The report says that last month:

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• Homeowners insurance rates under $1 million in value forreplacement costs rose 2 percent.

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• Homeowners insurance rates over $1 million in value forreplacement costs rose 1 percent.

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• Automobile insurance rates rose 2 percent.

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• Personal articles insurance (jewelry, paintings and othervaluables) increased 1 percent.

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Richard Kerr, founder and chief executive officer ofMarketScout, says in a statement that his firm has an “exceptionalamount of data” on personal lines to enable it to track data.

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As it does with its commercial lines barometer, MarketScout usesits affiliation with The National Alliance for Insurance Educationand Research to conduct a survey of “thousands of insurance agents,company personnel and other professionals attending continuingeducation and designation update institutes.”

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Kerr says by combining the rate data from the exchange and thesurveys from the National Alliance, “We are able to provide aunique, credible system for summarizing pricing information in thepersonal lines marketplace.”

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