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Commercial insurance rates rise in fourth quarter

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Insurance pricing increased in most commercial lines in the fourth quarter of 2017, although rates for workers compensation continued to fall, according to insurance exchange Ivans Insurance Solutions.

Commercial auto insurance premium renewal rates increased by 3.1% on average in the fourth quarter, the Tampa, Florida-based unit of insurance technology firm Applied Systems Inc. said Wednesday in a statement.

Commercial auto insurers have reported poor results for the past two years, and the average commercial auto premium renewal rate increased 2.9% for all of 2017. Florida saw the biggest annual rate hike with a 5.2% average increase in 2017.

Commercial property rates increased 2.9% in the fourth quarter and 3.1% for the full year. Policyholders in Florida and Texas, which were hit hardest by hurricane losses in 2017, experienced different responses from insurers. Average property premium rates in Florida increased 1.4% in 2017, and rates in Texas increased 4.1%, according to Ivans.

General liability rates increased 1.9% in the fourth quarter, and rates for business owner’s policies, which are package policies bought by small businesses, increased 3.9% in the quarter.

Umbrella rates increased 1.3%, compared with 1.5% in the third quarter, and workers compensation rates fell 2.3% in the fourth quarter, compared with a 1.2% decline in the third quarter.