Commercial insurance premiums increased an average of 3.5% across all lines in the first quarter of 2019, according to the recently released Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers (CIAB) Property & Casualty Market Survey. This compares to an increase of 2.4% in the final quarter of 2018 and continues a trend of seven consecutive quarters with increasing premium.
“I believe we are going to have to come up with another way to describe the environment versus characterizing as it a hard or soft market,” said Ken Crerar, President and CEO of CIAB. “It is a transitioning market with a keen emphasis on new mechanisms, such as telematics, to achieve profitable underwriting and improve loss ratios.”
Commercial Auto continues to plague insurance buyers, with 8.8% increases on average. Along with higher pricing, we are seeing ‘much tougher’ underwriting, higher increased deductibles, and Excess carriers following suit with pricing and higher attachment points on fleet risks.
“Even our clients with the best safety records are getting hit with significant increases,” according to James Gaughan, Director of Claim & Risk Consulting at RCM&D. “An effective fleet safety program that integrates advances in technology along with behavioral science has never been more important.”
Commercial Property saw the largest increases (5.9%) since 2013, driven largely by catastrophe-prone risks and re-insurer weariness following major storms and wildfires of 2017 and 2018.
Workers’ Compensation continued to be a bright spot (-3.3%) despite some potential signs of market firming— some survey respondents indicating premiums are the lowest they’ve seen in over 30 years.
You can download RCM&D’s one-page snapshot of the Q1 for 2019 results. The snapshot includes our key market observations as well as one-year trend analysis for many coverage lines, including Commercial Auto, Commercial Property, Workers’ Compensation, General Liability, Employment Practices Liability and more.
Download the One-Page Snapshot It is important to note, the report represents overall trends for the commercial property and casualty premiums. These trends may differ within a specific industry or sector.
If you have any questions about this report or would like to discuss how market trends may impact your insurance program, please contact your client service representative for more information or you may contact a trusted RCM&D advisor today.