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MarketScout: P/C Rates Drop 4% in May

Posted on 06 Jun 2011

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Dallas-based electronic insurance exchange MarketScout said that U.S. property/casualty insurance rates continued its trend of falling a average of 4% in May compared with the same period in 2010. Rates dropped 4% both in April and March.

Although there has been talk about how recent catastrophe losses, including the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, flooding in Australia, and other losses in the U.S., will impact insurance pricing, Richard Kerr, CEO of MarketScot, said, "financial and economic metrics may support a market turn, but real-life situations have a considerable influence on the actual pricing."

General liability insurance rates decreased an average of 3% in May compared with last year after a 4% decline in April, according to MarketScout, while professional liability rates holding steady in May compared with last year. Rates also were steady in April.

MarketScout did find, however, that pricing was competitive in the energy sector during May, in which rates fell 6% compared with a year earlier. “The energy pricing war is primarily between two large insurers fighting for a controlling position and market share,” said Mr. Kerr. A smaller, relatively new entrant in the energy sector has been “unrealistically aggressive” in its pricing, MarketScout said.