Buyers’ Market Continues

Excess  capacity  chasing market share  kept commercial property/casualty rates down in the second quarter of 2010, according to the latest Commercial P/C Market Index survey from the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers (CIAB).

Renewal rates on average dropped by about 6 percent in the second quarter, the CIAB said, compared to a 5 percent decrease in the first quarter. Council President Ken Crerar observed:

It’s like someone forgot to turn off the spigot. No one seems to know when the reservoir will dry up, but in the meantime, it’s definitely a buyers’ market.†

Commercial renewal pricing for small, medium and large business accounts continued to decline in the second quarter. Large account rate declines were again slightly more than the other accounts, but pricing for all account sizes was soft, according to the Council’s survey data.

All individual commercial lines included in the survey experienced rate decreases, compared with the previous quarter.

Brokers across the country reported that capacity was plentiful for all lines. New carriers continued to enter the marketplace, further driving rates down and buyers found good deals not just on pricing, but on terms and conditions, according to survey comments.

There was no notable change in customer demand for insurance in the second quarter. Only 26 percent of survey respondents said demand was up – about the same response as in the first quarter. Check out I.I.I. information on the industry’s financial outlook.

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