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“CLIPS” Survey Finds Commercial Insurance Prices Remain Nearly Flat

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June 16, 2017

Commercial insurance prices in the United States were nearly flat during the first quarter of 2017, according to Willis Towers Watson’s most recent Commercial Lines Insurance Pricing Survey (CLIPS). The survey compared prices charged on policies written during the first quarter of 2017 to those charged for the same coverage during the equivalent quarter in 2016. Price changes reported by carriers averaged less than 1 percent for the sixth consecutive quarter, following a moderating trend in price increases that began in the first quarter of 2013.

Price changes in the first quarter for most lines of business were fairly consistent with changes reported in the fourth quarter. Four lines (workers compensation, commercial property, directors and officers, and surety) indicated modest price decreases. The outlier in the results continues to be commercial auto, where meaningful price increases were again reported. For most other lines, price changes fell in the low single digits. Price changes were fairly similar across segments, though slightly positive for small accounts, and flat for midmarket, large, and specialty accounts.

“Despite ample capital and benign claim cost inflation trends, the commercial P&C insurance market has exercised considerable discipline as a whole over the past couple of years,” said Serhat Guven, Americas Property & Casualty sales practice leader, Willis Towers Watson. “Insurers have held the line on trading profitability for volume, while still responding as needed to emerging trends, e.g., commercial auto on the high end and workers compensation on the low end.”

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