Insurance Rates Defy Traditional Market Cycle

Property and casualty insurance is showing single-digit rate increases but analysts maintain there is little indication drivers are in place for a shift to a hard market.

The property and casualty insurance market continues to achieve single-digit rate increases but analysts maintain there is little indication drivers are in place for a shift to a hard market.

Towers Watson’s Commercial Lines Insurance Pricing Survey, which compares second quarter prices this year to last year, shows that commercial-insurance prices in the aggregate increased by 6 percent during over that time. It is the sixth consecutive quarter aggregate prices rose for all commercial lines, says Towers Watson.

The financial performance of insurers is not being helped by the 10-year yield on bonds that is below 2 percent, which is negatively affecting investments through all financial markets.

Utilizing some of the data from the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers quarterly survey of insurance brokers, Charles L. Ruoff, president of C.R. Market Strategies Inc., says if rates remain at their current level of increase, any discussion about rates moving to a hard market “would not be a rational conclusion.”

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