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Soft commercial property/casualty insurance market continues


Large accounts felt the greatest effects as the commercial property/casualty insurance market continued to soften during the first quarter of 2015, according to a study released Wednesday by the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers.

The average pricing decline for small, medium and large accounts was 2.3% percent, compared with just 0.7% percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 and 1.5% in the year-ago period, according to the council’s latest quarterly Commercial P/C Market Index Survey. Pricing for large accounts fell 3.7%, while medium-size accounts fell 2.7% and small accounts just 0.5%.

“The trend of falling prices we saw in the fourth quarter of 2014, continued into the first quarter of this year,” Ken A. Crerar, president and CEO of the council, said in a statement.

The survey cited abundant capital among its reasons for the steepening decline.

“Plentiful capacity continued to dampen pricing as carriers scrambled to book new business,” said the council in its survey, as property pricing fell in most of the U.S. for properties without catastrophe exposures or losses.

Brokers responding to the survey reported an actively competitive market.

Northeast brokers said insurers were “more aggressive,” showing “much broader appetite” for property/casualty and offering lower deductibles and multiyear deals while still looking for good loss histories.

Midwestern brokers also reported aggressive insurers and said “downward pressure on pricing was greater than three months ago.”

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