MarketScout, the Dallas-based electronic insurance exchange, reported on Wednesday that commercial property/casualty insurance rates dropped an average of 5% in December 2010 compared with a year earlier. General liability coverage dropped the most at 6%, with commercial property following with a 5% drop.
Workers compensation, professional liability, commercial automobile and surety meanwhile dropped only 1% while fiduciary cover remained flat.
Despite the declines, “2010 will prove to be the beginning to the end of a six-year soft market cycle,” MarketScout CEO Richard Kerr said in a statement.
“While rates were still down for all of 2010, they did moderate and held steady at smaller reductions in a tight range,” declining 3% to 5%.
“We anticipate slight reductions on competitively marketed placements for the first six months of 2011 and flat renewals for accounts not under market pressure,” Mr. Kerr said. “By year-end 2011, the longest soft market period in the last 70 years will finally come to a close.”