Despite all the radical changes taking place in how P&C insurers engage with customers and distribute their products, premium rates are—at least for the time being—looking very stable.  U.S. commercial rates were collectively up just 1 percent month-to-month for November, while personal lines rose a similarly modest 3 percent.

According to figures compiled by wholesale broker MarketScout, variations in premium increases have been minimal this month.  The highest rate increases , 4 percent, were reported on homeowner’s policies for properties under $1 million.  This may be in part due to the overall increased activity in this market segment.

By policy classification, only commercial surety showed no change at all.  However, commercial jumbo accounts (>$1 million) were also apparently able to avoid rate increases — most likely due to their strong negotiating position in a competitive market.

Other commercial coverages showing 1 percent-2 percent increases included business interruption, general liability, workers’ compensation and professional liability.  Commercial auto was slightly higher at 3 percent.  Industry-wide, transportation seemed to be hit hardest with rates increases at 3 percent, while manufacturing, habitational and public sector customers escaped the month with only 1 percent increases.

On the personal side, auto policies and homeowner’s policies at the $1 million-plus level showed increases of 3 percent.  Increases for personal articles were more limited at 1 percent.

While none of the categories measured showed any evidence of downward price pressures for like policies month-to-month, MarketScout CEO Richard Kerr did note that customers looking to save money were able to do so by making more parsimonious purchases.  “Some personal lines agents are securing actual year-on-year rate decreases for their clients,” Kerr said.  “However, they could be sacrificing coverage or changing deductibles in order to get the reductions.”

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