The buyer's market in commercial insurance continued during thethird quarter, according to the latest benchmark survey from theRisk and Insurance Management Society and Advisen. There was nochange in the average premium for property insurance policies thatrenewed during the third quarter, while the average generalliability premium actually declined 3.7% and the average premium onworkers compensation insurance fell 4.5%. The survey notes, though,that since liability and workers compensation policies take intoaccount sales and payrolls, the weakness in those areas contributedto the decline in premiums.

Premiums for directors and officers liability insurance werealso unchanged on average during the third quarter, but the RIMSreport notes that financial institutions saw their premiums riseand other buyers saw premiums decline.

Although the third-quarter data are weak, they represent somefirming from the year-ago figures. While property premiums wereflat in the latest quarter, they fell 8.5% in the third quarter of2008, and the 3.7% decline in the average third-quarter liabilitypremium compares with a 9.6% decline in the year-ago period. On theother hand, workers compensation premiums were down just 0.6% inthe third quarter of last year, versus the 4.5% decline in thelatest quarter.

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