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Commercial property/casualty insurance rates continued to fall, albeit only slightly, during the third quarter of the year compared to the same period last year, according to the RIMS Benchmark Survey released Monday by the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc.
The survey, which was produced by Advisen Ltd. for New York-based RIMS, found that directors and officers and general liability premiums decreased by less than 1% in the third quarter, though competition for small and midsize D&O accounts remained intense. Workers compensation premiums dropped by nearly 3.4%.
In fact, only property insurance costs rose during the July-September period, and even that by only a modest 1.7%.
But in a statement announcing the results, Joseph Restoule, RIMS director and secretary, pointed out that "the situation remains grim for property insurance buyers in Florida and along the Gulf Coast, and earthquake coverage is skyrocketing in California. It doesn't appear as if property insurance premiums in these areas will improve any time soon, but the upside is that risk managers are getting relief in other lines of insurance."
"Unless you own property on the coast or along a fault line, it's increasingly a buyer's market, and market conditions should continue to improve for risk managers," said David Bradford, editor-in-chief at Advisen in the same statement. "It looks likely that 2006 will be a banner year for the property and casualty insurance industry. A profitable year will encourage insurers to further cut prices."