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Commercial property/casualty insurance rates rose an average of 5% in April over those of the same month a year earlier, Dallas-based electronic insurance exchange MarketScout reported Monday.
Commercial property and workers compensation experienced the most significant rate increases at 6%. Surety and employment liability insurance rose the least at 2% each. Among classes of business, manufacturing increased the most at 7%, while energy and public entity accounts enjoyed the smallest increases at 4% each.
“The market is bumping along in a continued slow but steady path toward overall increases,” said MarketScout CEO Richard Kerr in a statement. “For the rest of 2013, we expect some months with lower composite increases than prior months, but the general direction of rates will be upward, unless new capacity enters the market. The recent movements by Berkshire Hathaway could affect the market if the plan is to enter the primary property and casualty market in a meaningful way.”
Mr. Kerr referred to the recent departure of four senior American International Group Inc. executives to Berkshire Hathaway Inc., which raised speculation over Berkshire Hathaway's strategy.
“No one other than Berkshire and the crew of executives who just departed AIG know for sure what the Berkshire plan includes,” Mr. Kerr said. “If the plan is to start a large (excess and surplus) company, it could have an impact on pricing. If the plan includes an admitted primary market strategy, rates in that area could be impacted as well. Of course, all of this is speculation and the direction of rates, be it up or down, depends on what Berkshire's pricing strategy becomes.”
Personal lines property/casualty insurance rates rose an average of 3% in February, compared to those of the same month in 2012, Dallas-based electronic insurance exchange MarketScout reported Tuesday.