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Property/casualty insurance prices stabilizing: Survey


Commercial property/casualty insurance buyers are facing flat to decreasing pricing so far in 2014, a new survey from Barclays Capital Inc. shows.

The flat pricing compared with the same period last year seen in Barclays' proprietary “Mid-2014 P&C Insurance Buyers Survey” is down from 1% increases reflected in Barclays' early 2014 survey.

It was the third consecutive Barclays survey in which price increases had slowed.

The midyear survey showed 46% of the risk managers surveyed expecting flat renewals, up from 27% six months ago; 32% expecting rate increases, down from 56% earlier this year; and 22% expecting rate decreases, up from 17% in the early 2014 survey.

Of those surveyed, 92% said policy terms and conditions are stable vs. a year ago, with none of those surveyed saying terms and conditions had tightened.

In terms of the renewal process, 81% said it was similar in difficulty to a year ago, with 4% saying it was easier. The 15% who said the renewal process was more difficult than a year ago was up from 11% in the early 2014 survey, but that was due to changes in insurance programs as a result of either acquisitions or claims activity, Barclays said.

In the latest survey, 17% of risk managers described the P/C market as soft, up from 3% earlier in the year, with 80% characterizing the market as stable and only one respondent viewing the market as hard.

Insurance broker fees are largely unchanged, according to the survey, with 84% of respondents saying 2014 broker fees should be the same as those paid in 2013, 8% expecting to pay higher fees and 8% expecting to negotiate lower fees.

For the survey, Barclays contacted 187 risk managers at large companies in the U.S. and Canada and conducted 50 interviews. Of those surveyed, roughly 45% were from Fortune 1000 companies.