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Commercial insurance rate hikes accelerate

05 Jan 2021| Business Insurance

by Gavin Souter

U.S. commercial insurance rates increased 7.1% in the fourth quarter of 2020, continuing an upward trend that started in 2017, according a report Monday from MarketScout Corp.

The fourth-quarter increase follows an average 6.3% increase in the third quarter, the Dallas-based specialty intermediary and insurance exchange said.

The biggest fourth-quarter increase was in the umbrella/excess liability market where rates increased 12.7% on average. Other sectors seeing large increases included directors and officers liability, 11.7%; professional liability, 10.3%; commercial property, 9%; and commercial auto, 8.3%, the report said.

Employment practices liability rates increased 6.7%, general liability rates rose 6%, and workers compensation rates were up 0.7%.

Broken down by size of account, jumbo accounts, in which policyholders pay more than $1 million in annual premium, saw average rate increases of 8%; large accounts, those paying $250,001 to $1 million, were up 9.3%; medium accounts, $25,001 to $250,000, were up 8.3%; and small accounts, up to $25,000, were up 6.7%.

By industry class, transportation risks saw the biggest quarterly rate increases, up 11.5%, followed by habitational, 9.5%; and contracting, 7.25%.