Market Begins to Stabilize

Despite a continuing drop in commercial p/c premiums in the third quarter, the latest market index survey by the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers (CIAB) indicates that the market decline may have leveled off – at least for small and mid-sized accounts. The CIAB said that 69 percent of commercial agents and brokers responding to the survey reported that premiums for their small account renewals were down only slightly – 10 percent or less – compared with similar renewals during the second quarter, including 20 percent who reported no change. Some 53 percent of respondents also said their medium account premiums were down 10 percent or less compared with second quarter renewals, including 7 percent reporting no change. The CIAB noted that the fourth quarter may tell a different story because the survey was taken at the beginning of October and did not reflect the full impact of the financial crisis. Premiums for large accounts were still dropping in the third quarter, according to the survey. Some 35 percent said their large account renewal premiums were down 10-20 percent compared with the second quarter, while 18 percent said premiums were down 20-30 percent, and 29 percent that premiums were down up to 10 percent.  

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