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E&O rate changes vary by professional sector

Posted On: Jul. 3, 2016 12:00 AM CST

While errors and omissions rates remain soft at midyear renewals, experts say it's difficult to make overall statements due to the disparate sectors covered by E&O policies.

“If I had to give a generalization, it's still a pretty stable market,” said Dan Knise, president and CEO of McLean, Virginia-based specialty broker Ames & Gough.

“There's plenty of capacity,” which tends to hold rates down, he said. “Incumbents are seeing flat to 2% rate increases, but new insurers are willing to come in at 2% to 4% and even as much as 5% below expiring” pricing, Mr. Knise said.

“It's still a good time to be a buyer,” he said. “Prices are still relatively stable and quite low when you look at where the rates were eight or 10 years ago.”

“The E&O market is still competitive, but it's not nearly as competitive as the (directors and officers liability) landscape, because E&O is bucketed more distinctly” based on the type of business, said Brian Dunphy, senior managing director of the management and professional risk group at Crystal & Company in New York.

Rates for general professional liability and commercial lines can range from a 5% decrease to a 5% increase, and usually are driven by factors that include whether there has been a significant change in the size and scope of what the company does, and whether they have moved into riskier service or product areas than the previous year's renewals, said Robert Parisi, managing director at Marsh L.L.C. in New York.