The soft market isn’t changing anytime soon, according to numbers and analysis provided by The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research and MarketScout, an insurance exchange based in Dallas. The composite property/casualty rate in the United States was down 4% for January 2010, prolonging the soft market. However, there were some notable changes in rates by line of coverage and industry group.

“While the composite rate remained at -4%, we noted rates for Service, Public Entities and Energy decreased further with Public Entities moving from a -3% to -5%,” says Richard Kerr, CEO of MarketScout. “In addition, Directors & Officers, one of the only coverages that went several months in 2009 without rate decreases, slipped back and was hit with an average rate decrease of 2% for January 2010.”

The current soft market cycle seems to have no end, Kerr says, reflecting upon the market conditions. “Insurers must be patient,” he says. “Rates will adjust, but nothing will happen quickly without a cataclysmic event of significant magnitude.”

The National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research conducted pricing surveys used in MarketScout's analysis of market conditions. These surveys help to further corroborate MarketScout’s actual findings, which are mathematically driven by actual new and renewal placements across the United States. Below is a summary of January 2010 rates by coverage and industry class:

By Coverage Class

• Commercial Property down 4%

• Business Interruption down 2%

• BOP down 2%

• Inland Marine down 4%

• General Liability down 4%

• Umbrella/Excess down 4%

• Commercial Auto down 4%

• Workers’ Compensation down 3%

• Professional Liability down 1%

• D&O Liability down 2%

• EPLI down 1%

• Fiduciary down 1%

• Crime down 1%

• Surety down 1%


By Industry Class

• Manufacturing down 4%

• Contracting down 3%

• Service down 5%

• Habitational down 2%

• Public Entity down 5%

• Transportation down 3%

• Energy down 3%

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