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Commercial insurance rates rise in 2017 first quarter

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For the first time in 20 months, U.S. commercial rates increased during the first quarter of 2017 with a composite rate of 1%, electronic insurance exchange MarketScout said Wednesday.

Rates for business interruption, inland marine, workers’ compensation, crime and surety coverages held steady in the first quarter, Dallas-based MarketScout said in a statement, while rates for all other coverages either moderated or increased.

“The plus 1% composite rate index was driven by larger rate increases in commercial auto, transportation, professional and D&O rates,” MarketScout CEO Richard Kerr said in the statement. “We also recorded small rate increases in the majority of coverage and industry classifications. So, 2017 begins with insurers moving away from the rate cuts of 2016.”

By industry class, every industry moved toward higher rates in the first quarter. Transportation had the largest rate increase at 5%, MarketScout said.

Small accounts, defined by MarketScout as up to $25,000, were assessed a 1% rate increase in the first quarter of 2017. Medium accounts, ranging from $25,001 to $250,000, were flat. 

However, large accounts, ranging from $250,001 to $1 million, and jumbo accounts, at over $1 million, saw rate decreases of 1% and 2% respectively.