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US commercial pricing hikes accelerate in Q3

Posted On: Dec. 9, 2019 12:51 PM CST

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U.S. commercial pricing continued to accelerate during the third quarter, increasing by more than 4% compared with the same period a year ago, according to the Commercial Lines Pricing Survey issued by Willis Towers Watson PLC on Monday.

Price changes for most lines accelerated compared with second quarter 2019 increases, said the report. 

There were significant price increases in the four standard lines, commercial auto, commercial property, excess/umbrella liability and directors and officers liability, with all except property reporting more than double-digit rate increases, according to the report.

There were ongoing price reductions in workers compensation, “though the decreases have tempered somewhat,” according to the report. 

Commercial auto saw reported price hikes near or above double digits for the eighth consecutive quarter, according to the report.

Price changes for large accounts were greater than for small- and mid-market accounts, according to the survey.

“This quarter we saw the largest overall price shift since 2013,” said Alejandra Nolibos, Miami-based senior director, insurance consulting and technology, Willis Towers Watson, in a statement.

“Price increases for D&O liability are well into the double digits, with employment practices liability and medical professional liability also showing sizable upward shifts.

“Commercial auto did not let up, with insureds looking at double-digit increases again. CLIPS confirms insurers have been responding to worsening loss trends across affected lines through pricing; other sources suggest terms and conditions have tightened. The question is whether and when workers compensation loss trends will turn, too.”