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Rising workers comp rates could herald end of soft market: MarketScout

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Workers compensation rates rose 1% in June compared with a year earlier and could be the line of coverage that leads insurers out of the prolonged soft market, according to the head of a Dallas-based electronic insurance exchange.

According to an analysis released Tuesday by MarketScout, average property/casualty insurance rates dropped 3% in June compared with a year earlier, but rates for workers compensation bucked the trend and rose.

“It looks like workers compensation will be the coverage leading us out of the soft market,” MarketScout CEO Richard Kerr said in a statement accompanying the report.

“Rates for workers compensation are up 1%. Workers comp is the only coverage with an actual rate increase in June,” Mr. Kerr said.

While the composite workers comp rate may be up only 1%, “that increase includes the impact of aggressive pricing of smaller, online placements, which offsets price increases in the larger, more difficult accounts,” he said in the statement.