The second quarter of 2019 saw a continuation of the trend of increasing insurance premiums across all lines, with the exception of Workers’ Compensation. Increases were seen across all account sizes with the greatest increases falling on mid-sized accounts. Q2 marks the 7th consecutive quarter of market firming. “Fears of future increases” were identified as a leading concern of respondents to the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers’ Commercial Property/Casualty Market Report.
The average premium increase across all lines was 5.2%.
Commercial Property premiums experienced the greatest shift in pricing with average increases jumping to 8.5%, outpacing even Commercial Auto. “The Property market has seen an increase in deductibles and application of water damage sub-limits, in addition to increases in program rates” according to the report. Catastrophe-prone areas are feeling a reduction in underwriting capacity including non-renewals in wildfire-prone locals. Carriers are pulling back on flood and earthquake coverage extensions even in low-to-moderate risk locations. Recent events that have driven the trends in the Property market include:
- 2018 wildfires (which were identified as the “worst in recorded history” for California).
- Midwestern flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.
- A wet winter/spring in the American Southeast.
The tightening Property market comes in conjunction with 32 consecutive quarters of Commercial Auto increases “with no relief in sight.” Commercial Auto saw average increases of 8.4% in Q2. Auto increases were responsible for driving increases in related lines. For example, Umbrella premiums were up an average of 5.6% as more high-limit programs move to a “shared, layered approach” particularly on large fleets or heavy vehicles. More carriers are requiring mandatory loss control programs and participation in distracted driver training.
Notably, Workers’ Compensation remained competitive with 2.5% average decreases, which underwriters have been using to offset Property and Auto increases.
Demand for Cyber Liability remained strong with respondents noting “many clients purchased Cyber cover this year, where they had declined in years past, which may be related to the clear and present danger posed by data breaches.”
You can download RCM&D’s one-page snapshot of the Q2 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.