Second Quarter Sees 1% rise in Commercial Lines Rates

Closer attention to underwriting and losses has led to premium increases averaging 1% in the second quarter of 2017, continuing an upward trend this year. The transportation sector, most notably auto-related exposures, is seeing the highest increases, up to 4%, according to a report released today by MarketScout.

“We now have two consecutive quarters of composite rate premium increases. Insurers are adjusting pricing as they should, based upon losses incurred, expense loads and targeted returns on equity,” Richard Kerr, CEO and Founder of MarketScout said in a statement.

By account size, organizations smaller to medium-size saw the highest premium increases. Small accounts (under $25,000 premium) increased from up 1% to up 2%, medium accounts ($25,001 – $250,000) went from flat to plus 1%, large accounts ($250,001 – $1 million) were unchanged and jumbo accounts (more than $1 million) were down 1% compared to a drop of 2% the prior quarter.
By coverage class, commercial property and inland marine adjusted from down 1% in the first quarter, to up 1% in the second quarter. Commercial auto rates rose from up 3% to up 4%. EPLI also went from up 1% to up 2%. Fiduciary adjusted downward to flat or no increase compared to up 1% in the prior quarter. All other coverage classifications were unchanged from the previous quarter, according to the report.
By industry class, public entity rates moderated from up 1% to flat. Transportation risks experienced slightly lower rate increases with second quarter rates up 4% compared to 5% first quarter.

November Composite Rate -1%, Up From -2% in October

The November composite rate for insurers in the United States moved from minus 2% to minus 1% in November, with commercial insurance seeing the largest increases, barometeraccording to MarketScout.

“The most notable coverage classification with an ongoing consistent rate increase is commercial auto at plus 3%,” said MarketScout CEO Richard Kerr. “The commercial auto classification includes all types of commercial vehicles. Not surprisingly, the most notable industry classification with an ongoing consistent rate increase was transportation, also at plus 3%.”

The transportation classification includes trucking, hauling, buses, “and most anything with wheels,” he said. Railroads and aviation are not included in the transportation class.

“Underwriters have long struggled with commercial auto, many writing the coverage only to capture the related casualty lines such as workers compensation, general liability and excess. Many insurers consider commercial auto as a loss leader,” Kerr said.

By coverage classification, from October to November, property was down from minus 2% to minus 3%, business owners policies (BOPs) were up 1% compared to down 1%, auto was up 3% from up 2% and D&O was up 1% from flat.


By premium size, small accounts (up to $25,000) were flat in November compared to down 1% in October. Medium accounts ($25,001 to $250,000) were down 1% in November compared to down 2% in October. Large accounts ($250,001 to $1,000) saw more aggressive pricing, with rates down more in November (minus 2%) compared to October (minus 1%). Jumbo accounts (over $1 million) remained stable at minus 2%.

Insurers reversed their rate reductions for the contracting and service industries, moderating rate reductions from minus 2% in October to minus 1% in November. Manufacturing rates were flat in November compared to down 1% in October, MarketScout said.

June Commercial Insurance Rates Up 1%

The composite rate for commercial insurance placed in the United States rose to minus 1% in June from minus 2% in May, according to MarketScout. One of the most significant changes was rates for transportation accounts, which moved from minus 2% to plus 1%. Rates for every industry class, except habitation and transportation, moderated by 1%. Habitational rates were unchanged at minus 2%.
Industry class chart-1

Industry class list

“Insurers are getting tired of cutting rates,” said Richard Kerr, chief executive officer of MarketScout. “There are still pockets of very competitive business; however, it is beginning to look like insurers are willing to maintain the rate reductions of the past few years and not cut rates even further.”

Coverage classifications business owners policies (BOP), umbrella and professional liability all moderated by 1%, compared to the prior month. EPLI rates were up 1% and commercial auto rates moved from flat to plus 2%.
coverage class list
By account size, medium ($25,001 to $250,000) and large ($250,001 to $1,000,000) accounts moderated to minus 1% and 2% respectively. Rates remained the same for all other account sizes.

Account size

U.S. Commercial Rates Up 1%, MarketScout Reports

Commercial property/casualty insurance rates in the U.S. were flat over the past four months, but increased to plus 1% in July, MarketScout said today.

“The property market often tightens a bit on the cusp of wind season but, we also noted slight increases on other lines of coverage as well,” Richard Kerr, CEO of MarketScout said in a statement.

By coverage class, general liability, umbrella, and professional liability all increased from flat in June 2015 to plus 1% for July 2015. Business interruption went up from minus 1% to plus 1%. Property coverage pricing was up from plus 1% to plus 2%. Pricing for all other coverages remained the same.

By industry class, contracting, transportation and energy all went up an additional 1% compared to last month. Habitational and public entity were down 1% compared to the previous month.

By coverage, account size and industry class: