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Commercial insurance lines jump 5% in fourth quarter


Commercial lines insurance prices continued to increase during the fourth quarter of 2013, rising by 5% compared with the same period a year earlier, according to the Commercial Lines Insurance Pricing Survey Towers Watson & Co. released Monday.

The survey found that price increases insurers reported were somewhat smaller in the third and fourth quarters of last year than those reported in the second half of 2012, and the first half of 2013 when price increases were between 6% and 7%.

New York-based Towers Watson said the survey showed the largest price increases in employment practices liability, followed by workers compensation and excess/umbrella liability. Price increases for most lines fell in the mid-single digits, with no line of business reporting a price decrease.

The survey showed no large differences between pricing trends for small, medium-sized and large accounts, Towers Watson said. It also showed specialty lines prices increasing at a smaller rate than those for standard coverage lines.

The latest survey included data contributed by 43 participating insurers representing about 20% of the U.S. commercial insurance market.

The pricing data are based on information about new and renewing business Towers Watson obtains directly from the insurers underwriting the business. Participating insurers represent a cross section of U.S. property/casualty insurers.