Most commercial insurance lines see rate increases in fourth quarter

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January 4, 2019 | Business Insurance 

Author: Claire Wilkinson

U.S. commercial property/casualty insurance rates rose 2% on average in the fourth quarter of 2018, matching the average rate increase of the entire year, online insurance exchange MarketScout Corp. said Friday.

Commercial auto insurance lines saw the biggest rate increase in the fourth quarter at 7%, according to a MarketScout statement. After suffering significant losses, insurers have succeeded in pushing through rate increases on commercial auto business for several quarters.

Business interruption rates increased by 3% and commercial property insurance rates increased 2.5% in the quarter. All other lines tracked by MarketScout posted smaller increases, except for workers compensation, where rates fell 1.5%.

By industry class, transportation saw the steepest increase of 6%, according to MarketScout. Contractors saw increases of 2.5% in the fourth quarter, which is a slowdown from a 4% increase in the third quarter.

“Ample capacity remains in the commercial insurance market. Rates for all coverage classifications other than workers compensation are increasing at a controlled, slow pace,” MarketScout CEO Richard Kerr said in the statement. “Only transportation and commercial auto exposures are suffering large rate increases.”

Small accounts – those with up to $25,000 in premium – saw a 2.5% rate hike in the fourth quarter, as did large accounts – $250,001 to $1 million. Jumbo accounts – those with more than $1 million in premium – were up 2%, while medium accounts — $25,001 to $250,000 – were up 1.5%.