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Commercial property/casualty rates increased an average of 9.3% across all lines in the first quarter, according to the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers’ latest pricing survey, which was issued Tuesday.
This compares with the average 7.5% reported for the fourth quarter, according to the Washington-based trade association’s data.
Large- and medium-sized accounts recorded average increases of 12.6% and 9.8%, respectively, while small accounts had an average increase of 5.5%.
All major lines except workers compensation experienced at least moderate rate increases during the quarter, with umbrella premiums increasing the most, at 17.3%, while commercial property increased 12%. Workers compensation reported a 1.2% decrease in premiums, although the trend of decreased premiums has moderated since a year ago.
COVID-19 also affected the market in the latter half of March, with 75% of respondents reporting an increase in business interruption claims in the first quarter, compared with 18% in 2019’s fourth quarter. A total of 47% of respondents reported increased demand for the coverage vs. 18% in 2019’s fourth quarter.
A total of 72% said COVID-19 has affected insurers’ ability to collect premiums, while 66% agreed it affected coverage availability.
More insurance and risk management news on the coronavirus crisis here.
The outlook for the U.S. property/casualty sector is stable and not likely to change in the next 12-18 months, Fitch Ratings Inc. said in a report Thursday.