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Commercial property/casualty rates up 2.8% in fourth quarter of 2011

Commercial property/casualty rates up 2.8% in fourth quarter of 2011

Commercial property/casualty rates increased an average of 2.8% during the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with the same period a year earlier, the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers said in its quarterly survey released Tuesday.

“It's clear from the data that the market continued its upward momentum in the fourth quarter,” Ken A. Crerar, president and CEO of the Washington-based council, said in a statement. “Capacity was still strong, but prices rose in the face of declining underwriting profitability, dwindling reserves and huge catastrophic losses.”

The council's “Commercial P/C Market Index Survey” found that workers compensation experienced the largest rate increase at 7.5%. Commercial property ranked second with an average increase of 5.7%.

Large accounts reported the smallest increases, with an average increase of 1.8%. Medium-size accounts reported a 3.5% increase, and small accounts reported a 3.1% increase.

By contrast, commercial property/casualty insurance rates dropped an average of 5.4% in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared with a year earlier, the council reported early last year.