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Commercial property/casualty premiums increase in Q1: CIAB

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Pricing for commercial property/casualty lines increased slightly during the first quarter, according to The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers’ Commercial Property/Casualty Market Index Survey released late Friday.

Average premiums across all sized accounts were up 1.7% compared with 0.3% in Q4 2017, said a statement issued with the survey, adding it was the second consecutive quarter of increased premiums following three years of soft market conditions.

The average increase across all lines of business was 2.2%, compared with 1.7% in Q4 2017, the statement said. With the exception of workers compensation, which was down 2.0%, all lines of business experienced some increase in premium pricing.

In Q1 2018, commercial property rates were up 3.4%, up from 2.4% in Q4 2017, and the highest rate increase in three consecutive quarters of increasing commercial property premiums, the survey said.

Commercial auto rates jumped 7.7% in the first quarter according to the survey, marking the 27th consecutive quarter of increased rates.

The survey also showed that the demand for cyber insurance is greater than for any other line of business, with 73% percent of respondents reporting a “somewhat” or “significant” increase in demand for cyber coverage.

Survey respondents said top priorities include driving organic growth, hiring and recruiting talent and enhancing the customer experience, with nearly 80% of respondents saying “driving organic growth” is a top priority for 2018.

“While we find ourselves in the beginning of a transitional market, carriers continued to be aggressive on new business due to excess and alternative capital in the market,” Ken A. Crerar, president and CEO of The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, said in the statement.