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Property insurance price surge leads rate hikes

Posted On: May. 17, 2023 5:00 AM CST


Average annual commercial insurance premium increases accelerated to 8.8% during the first quarter of 2023, up from 8% during the previous quarter, with commercial property rate hikes far outpacing other lines, according to a report Wednesday from the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers.

By account size, the Council’s quarterly report showed large accounts with the greatest increase at 11.4%, followed by medium-sized accounts at 9% and small accounts at 6.2% during what was the 22nd consecutive quarter of increased premiums for all account sizes.

Property and cyber were singled out in the report for seeing tumult and calming, respectively. Commercial property premiums increased 20.4% on average in the first quarter, “which is by far the highest out of all lines” and compares with 16% in the prior quarter, said the report. Respondents cited inflation and natural catastrophe losses as the main drivers of the sharp increase.

Commercial cyber insurance rate increases slowed significantly with an average increase of 8.4% in the quarter, down from 15% in the previous quarter and a high of 34.3% in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the report.

In other major lines, umbrella liability rates increased 8.5% in the quarter, down from a 9.6% increase in the fourth quarter of 2022; commercial auto rates rose 8.3%, up from 7.3%; general liability rates rose 4.6%, down from 4.9%; and workers compensation rates fell 0.5% compared with a 1.1% decrease.