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Most rates fell in first quarter: Benchmark survey


Property insurance was the only line of business whose renewal rates increased during the first quarter of 2007, while both directors and officers and workers compensation continued to see rate decreases, according to the Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc.'s RIMS Benchmark Survey.

The survey, which is produced by New York-based Advisen Ltd. and is based on data contributed by corporate risk managers, found that property insurance rates increased by 0.8% in the first quarter, compared with the fourth quarter of 2006.

D&O rates, meanwhile, dropped by an average of 7.7% in the first quarter, while workers comp rates decreased by 3.8%.

And general liability premiums, continuing a downward trend that has lasted for several quarters, dipped by 0.8% in the first three months of 2007.

In a statement, Joseph Restoule, RIMS' secretary and a member of the New York-based society's board, said: "A year and a half after Hurricane Katrina, companies with properties in catastrophe-exposed regions are still seeing premiums rise, but trends continue to be quite favorable in other regions and other lines of insurance.

"Risk managers are especially benefiting from steadily falling workers compensation premiums in many areas."

David Bradford, editor-in-chief of New York-based Advisen, said in a statement: "2006 was a banner year for the insurance industry, with some insurers reporting record profits. That will encourage companies to compete even more vigorously for business, which is good news for risk managers. However, forecasters predict that 2007 will be an active year for hurricanes, and a severe catastrophe could stop this soft market in its tracks."

The results of the survey are available online or in an annually published book. Visit for more information.