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Aggregate U.S. commercial insurance prices increased 2% in the third quarter of this year compared with the same period last year, according to the Towers Watson & Co.'s Commercial Lines Insurance Pricing Survey, released Tuesday.
It was the second straight quarter that all standard commercial lines showed an uptick in pricing, according to Towers Watson, which said in September that commercial insurance prices rose nearly 1.5% in the second quarter of this year compared with the same period last year.
But the increases are not large enough to keep up with loss costs, which the survey data indicate have increased 4% so far this year from a year earlier.
“Combined with the effect of earning premiums written in prior quarters at close to flat rates, this loss cost trend translates to a 4% loss ratio deterioration estimate for the first three quarters of 2011,” the New York-based consultant said in a statement announcing the survey results. “This indication is, however, somewhat more favorable than the estimated 5% level of deterioration for the full accident-year 2010 loss ratio over 2009.”
Workers compensation and commercial property experienced the greatest price increases in the third quarter. Workers comp prices rose by 1% to 6% while commercial property prices ranged from no increase to 4% more.
The survey was based on the responses of 39 insurance companies.