The composite rate for P&C insurance placements in the United States for March was flat, demonstrating a 0 percent increase compared to the same period last year, according to MarketScout, an MGA and wholesale broker. The composite rate for personal products was up 2 percent in Q1 2015; the March rates matched January and February, each holding steady at plus 2 percent.  

By coverage classification, general liability and umbrella/excess liability declined to 0 percent in March, from up 1 percent in February. Commercial auto, professional liability and employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) also declined 1 percent in February as compared to March. No coverages reflected a rate decrease.

For personal lines, insureds purchasing homeowners coverage paid 2 percent more in March, on average, than in March 2014. Automobile owners also paid 2 percent more, on average. Buyers of personal articles floaters paid 1 percent more than during the same time last year. 

“March is an important month. There is a considerable volume of U.S. business placed with both the U.S. and international insurers,” said Richard Kerr, CEO of MarketScout. “While a small change from February, the downward adjustment in rates may be an indicator of what is to come for the next six months.”

Small accounts, up to $25,000 premium, declined to up 1 percent from up 2 percent. Large accounts, $250,000 to $1,000,000 premium, were flat as compared to up 1 percent in February. The rates for all other accounts were unchanged.

All industry classifications were unchanged compared to February, except contracting and transportation, which were up 1 percent in March, compared to up 2 percent in February. Habitational insurance was up 0 percent in March as compared to up 1 percent in February. 

March 2015 rates by coverage, industry class and account size:

By Coverage Class

  • Commercial Property: Up 1 percent
  • Business Interruption: Up 0 percent
  • BOP: Up 1 percent
  • Inland Marine: Up 0 percent
  • General Liability: Up 0 percent
  • Umbrella/Excess: Up 0 percent
  • Commercial Auto: Up 1 percent
  • Workers’ Compensation: Up 0 percent
  • Professional Liability: Up 1 percent
  • D&O Liability: Up 1 percent
  • EPLI: Up 1 percent
  • Fiduciary: Up 0 percent
  • Crime: Up 0 percent
  • Surety: Up 0 percent

By Account Size

Small Accounts (Up to $25,000): Up 1 percent

Medium Accounts ($25,001 to $250,000): Up 1 percent

Large Accounts ($250,001 to $1 million): Up 0 percent

Jumbo Accounts (more than $1 million): Up 0 percent

By Industry Class

  • Manufacturing: Up 0 percent
  • Contracting: Up 1 percent
  • Service: Up 1 percent
  • Habitational: Up 0 percent
  • Public Entity: Up 1 percent
  • Transportation: Up 1 percent
  • Energy: Up 0 percent

“Personal insurers are holding their ground for now and avoiding unfounded rate reductions,” Kerr said. “Of course, the pricing environment changes location by location but overall, the rate increases are sticking.” 
March Personal Lines Rates Summary

  • Homeowners (under $1,000,000 value): Up 2 percent    
  • Homeowners (more than $1,000,000 value): Up 2 percent           
  • Automobile: Up 2 percent          
  • Personal Articles: Up 1 percent 

The pricing surveys used in MarketScout's analysis of market conditions was conducted by the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research. The surveys are used to corroborate MarketScout's findings, which are mathematically driven 
 

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