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Conning Research: Evolving Commercial Automobile Market Bears Watching as a Leading Cycle Indicator

Source: Conning Research

Posted on 09 Sep 2010

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Commercial Automobile insurance is a highly fragmented market dominated by multi-line generalists and "multi-specialist groups," and may be considered a leading indicator of the overall commercial lines insurance market, according to a new study by Conning Research & Consulting.

“Changes in commercial automobile results are important not only to the insurance groups with substantial premium written in the line of business, but also to insurers seeking to uncover developing trends in the broader commercial lines markets,” said Clint Harris, analyst at Conning Research & Consulting. “Principal commercial automobile industry segments, such as construction and trucking, are leading economic indicators for the general economy. As commercial auto liability losses generally develop more rapidly than other commercial liability coverages, this line of business is often a harbinger predictor of things to come for other commercial insurance lines.”

The Conning Research study, “Commercial Automobile Insurance: The Multi-Specialty Road Ahead” analyzes the customer and insurer conditions within the largest commercial automobile segments and examines trends in underwriting results. Segments analyzed include construction, trucking, automobile dealers and garage markets, and livery markets.

“The multi-specialist market strategy approach, as described in our study, incorporates advantages such as superior underwriting expertise and focused customer and distributor relationships. As a result, this model is expected to grow in market share,” said Stephan Christiansen, director of research at Conning. “Diversification and ’group‘ return on capital needs can alter the dynamics of the specialty market segments. As expansion of multi-market insurance groups continues, opportunities for differentiated underwriting results among major commercial auto markets, historically enjoyed by focused specialists, are likely to diminish.”

“Commercial Automobile Insurance: The Multi-Specialty Road Ahead” is available for purchase from Conning Research & Consulting by calling (888) 707-1177 or by visiting the company’s website at