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Personal lines rates on the upswing

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The slight firming that's been evident in commercial lines rates is occurring in personal lines as well, although by a lesser extent.

That was evident in the findings of Dallas-based electronic insurance exchange MarketScout's U.S. personal line rate barometer for October, which was released earlier this month. The average rate for personal lines coverage increased 3% in October compared to that of a year earlier, MarketScout reported.

MarketScout CEO Richard Kerr said in a statement that Superstorm Sandy should have an impact on rates in coming months.

“October was a stable month; however, we will start to see rate impacts from Superstorm Sandy in November, said Mr. Kerr. “Many of the flood claims will be paid by the National Flood Insurance Program, but some insurers did provide excess flood coverage. And, of course, there will be wind and fire claims. The property and loss of use claims are already rolling in. Couple this with the auto claims, and Sandy may have a notable impact on rates for personal insurance, particularly in the Northeast.”