Composite rates for both personal and commercial U.S. property and casualty insurance rose 3% in May, according to a report released Thursday by MarketScout, placing both lines between the “flat” to “adjusting upward” categories on MarketScout’s barometer.
On the personal side, rates for homeowners with less than $1,000,000 in insured value rose 4% in May, while homeowners with more than $1,000,000 in value saw rates rise by 3%. Automobile rates were up 3% while personal articles floaters were up 1%. Rates for homes over $1,000,000 in coverage value and auto were flat month-to-month, while personal articles rates were down from a 2% increase in April.
“Large, admitted insurers control the vast majority of the U.S. personal lines market,” wrote Richard Kerr, CEO of MarketScout, in the report. “Because of their size and ability to withstand market trends, the large insurers don’t normally respond to unfounded price aberrations in any given market. A strong balance sheet enables these insurers to stick to their guns on a long-term basis. However, smaller insurers will vary pricing almost monthly, as permitted by respective state insurance regulations. Regardless, the volume of the larger insurers has a significant impact on the U.S. personal lines composite rate. Thus, the reason for another month of steady results at plus 3%.”
On the commercial side, May’s 3% bump exceeded the 2% rate increase the market saw in April, led by property, businessowners and general liability policies, all of which were up plus 2 to plus 3 in the month.
Accounts between $25,001 and $250,000 premium increased 3%, while large accounts from $250,001 to $1,000,000 were up 2%.
Rates for employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) rose 2% in the month, down from 3% in April.