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Worsening claim results concern A&E insurers


While just half of architect and engineer insurers reported worsening claim results last year, all insurers expressed concerns about this trend continuing, says a survey released Tuesday.

The survey of 20 insurers by McLean, Virginia-based Ames & Gough found that 73% of insurers had introduced a rate increase of up to 5%, while rates increased at least 6% for 20% of those polled.

This compares to the 2019 survey, when 60% of insurers kept rates flat and 40% introduced a rate increase of no more than 5%. The upward pressure on rates appears to be gaining momentum this year based on indicators provided by the survey participants,” the survey report said.

The year’s survey also revealed significant increases in severity, the report said, and 25% reported having more claims in 2020 related to certain project types, such as residential and infrastructure, the report said.

Most insurers cited structural engineering as the discipline with the highest claim severity, followed by architecture, civil, geotechnical and mechanical engineering. The largest claims tended to be those involving bodily injury, design defects, and property damage or construction delays.

Jared Maxwell, Ames & Gough vice president and partner and co-author of the survey, said in a separate statement, “We’re still seeing some competition in the marketplace, which is good news for design firms with clean loss histories, lower risk disciplines, projects, and sound risk management.

“However, all indications point to 2021 being a year when more buyers see higher rates for their professional liability insurance.”









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