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Commercial P/C insurance rates rose 5% in first quarter: Towers Watson

Commercial P/C insurance rates rose 5% in first quarter: Towers Watson

Prices for commercial property/casualty insurance lines for the first quarter of 2012 rose 5% from those posted during the same period in 2011, according to new data from New York-based Towers Watson & Co.

Moreover, the “Commercial Lines Insurance Pricing Survey” indicated the increase marked the fifth consecutive quarter that prices rose for all standard commercial lines.

"We are seeing a continuing trend of price-level increases in the commercial insurance marketplace," said Thomas Hettinger, property/casualty sales and practice leader for the Americas at Towers Watson, said in a statement. "This quarter, the industry reached a significant threshold—an aggregate price increase of nearly 5%—the largest quarterly increase we've seen since 2004."

CLIPS data also revealed that the largest price increases were concentrated in workers compensation and commercial property lines. Likewise, while price increases were observed across all account sizes for standard commercial lines, the most significant increases were observed in mid-market accounts.

"We are likely to see improving loss ratios in the near future if this level of price increases and loss trends continues," Mr. Hettinger added. "This would be welcome news for the insurance industry, which has been dealing with low asset returns and significant catastrophe activity for the last few years."

In its most recent previous survey, Towers Watson found that prices had increased 3% during the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with those of the same quarter of 2010.