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Retail, health care rate spikes expected for cyber policies

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Point-of-sale retailers and large health care firms can expect cyber insurance rate hikes of up to 150% on renewal next year, says Willis Group Holdings P.L.C., in a report discussing next year’s forecast for various lines of business.

It expects that rates for cyber polices are expected to be flat to up 15% for companies that are neither point-of-sale retailers nor large health care entities.

But point-of-sale retailers and large health care firms can expect rate hikes on renewal ranging from 10% to 150%, according to the report, “Marketplace Realities 2016, Bringing the Pieces Together.” First-time buyers, though, will face competitive market conditions.

Despite reductions in capacity by some insurers, there are about $350 million to $400 million in available limits, according to the report.

“Underwriting requirements continue to rise, including conference calls with third-party security experts,” says the report. “Insurers are also increasing retentions, reducing capacity and exiting certain sectors.”

More generally, property rates for non-cat business are expected to decline between 10% and 12.5% in 2016, while catastrophe rates are expected to decline between 12.5% and 15%, according to the report, which says insurers continue to increase their capacity in property, and new players enter the crowded market.

Primary casualty rates are expected to be flat to down 5%, while umbrella and excess rates will be flat to down 10%, according to the report. “Casualty is clearly a buyer’s market,” although underwriting discipline prevents dramatic rate reductions, the report says.