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Premium pricing continues decline in second quarter 2017

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Commercial property/casualty rates continued to decline for the 10th straight quarter, the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers said Thursday.

On average, second-quarter rates declined 2.8% across all sizes of accounts, according to the brokerage trade group’s survey, similar to the 2.5% decrease in the first quarter. 

While premium pricing saw its greatest decline throughout 2016 at 3.9%, the council said the market appears to be stabilizing in 2017. Large accounts once again reported the largest rate decreases at 4.3%.

The biggest sector decline was in commercial property at 3.6%, followed by workers compensation and general liability, both at 2.7%. Umbrella was down 1.4%.

The average rate change in premium pricing across all lines this quarter was minus 0.8%. In contrast, commercial auto posted its highest rate increase since the trend began in 2011 at 6.1%.

“While premium pricing in commercial auto continued to go against market trends, most other lines remained soft but appeared to be flattening to some extent,” Ken A. Crerar, the council’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “In response to a soft and competitive market, we also saw carriers opt towards improving terms and conditions over dropping premium rates.”

The majority of respondents said that the market remained competitive this quarter, with plenty of capacity. Attracting and retaining talent was once again a consistent trend this quarter among companies of all sizes. Talent management was the No. 1 business concern for respondents, followed by price competition and excess capacity, uncertainty in health insurance reform, and data security, the council said.