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New Study: General Liability Insurance Losses and Expenses Likely to Rise Dramatically

Source: Conning Research & Consulting

Posted on 12 Mar 2009

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According to a new study by Conning Research and Consulting, the General Liability line of insurance has produced industry-wide combined ratios below 100 percent for the past two years, but this profitable underwriting performance is unlikely to continue.

“We project that the next couple of years will see a moderating in General Liability premium reduction, gradually leading to a modest increase by 2010,” said Mark Jablonowski, analyst at Conning Research & Consulting. “However, losses and expenses are forecast to grow more quickly, with a resulting rise in combined ratios reaching 107 percent by 2010. In the longer run, the future of the General Liability insurance market will play itself out between the cumulative effects of small to moderate losses and the rising prospect of mega-risks.”

The Conning Research study, “General Liability: Staying Relevant (and Profitable) in the New World of Risk,” identifies the issues facing the market and a number of considerations and actions that insurers should address to respond.

“History has shown us a cyclical increase in General Liability losses in periods following recessions. At the same time, longer term secular trends point to an increase in both smaller claims and larger mega risks. Meeting the challenges to profitability requires a variety of considerations on the part of insurers,” said Stephan Christiansen, director of insurance research at Conning. “Foremost is the ability to monitor trends in costs—particularly losses—and demand. Longer term, the best prospects for General Liability insurers may come from expanding the model of specialization in risk that has already proven to be a successful differentiator among companies.”

“General Liability: Staying Relevant (and Profitable) in the New World of Risk” is available for purchase from Conning Research & Consulting by calling (888) 707-1177 or by visiting the company’s web site at

About Conning

Conning Research & Consulting provides insurance industry analysis to insurers and industry stakeholders. Its published research includes market coverage of 30 segments of the industry in addition to industry forecasting and identification and analysis of major strategic issues. As a result of its wealth of experience and intimate knowledge of the insurance industry, Conning understands industry challenges and opportunities and provides in-depth analyses on a wide range of industry products and issues.