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P/C insurance rates continue decline


DALLAS--U.S. property/casualty insurance rates for all lines of coverage dropped by a composite 9% in January compared with the same month a year earlier, MarketScout reports.

The Dallas-based electronic insurance exchange noted in the Monday report that the soft P/C market is now two years old. The last time composite P/C rates increased was January 2005, when they rose 1%.

All lines of insurance experienced rate decreases last month compared with a year earlier, according to MarketScout. Even commercial property experienced a 5% drop compared with a year earlier.

Accounts of all sizes reported decreases, with the largest accounts reporting the largest average decrease of 11% compared with a year earlier.

"2007 is starting off with underwriters cutting rates in every single line of coverage," said Richard Kerr, MarketScout's chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement accompanying January's results. "Many wholesalers and surplus lines insurers are losing business to aggressive admitted markets as they cut pricing and expand class codes."