Willis Survey Shows Record Quarterly Commercial Lines Price Increases

A red arrow with a percent sign curving upward

A red arrow with a percent sign curving upward

Willis Towers Watson says US property-casualty insurance prices experienced the largest quarterly increase in its pricing survey's history during the second quarter of this year.

Willis Towers Watson's Commercial Lines Pricing Survey (CLIPS) found US commercial lines prices increased almost 10 percent in the second quarter compared to prices during the same period in 2019.

Excess/umbrella and directors and officers liability experienced the largest increases, Willis said in a statement, with prices for both lines increasing more than 20 percent for the second consecutive quarter. Commercial auto price increases were near or above double digits for the 11th consecutive quarter, Willis said, while property insurance prices have "accelerated significantly" in the past four quarters, with increases now "well into the double digits."

Workers compensation was the only commercial insurance line showing price reductions in the second quarter CLIPS survey, and those decreases continue to slowly decrease in magnitude.

"Second quarter data indicated the biggest quarter-to-quarter shift in CLIPS history, dating back to 2003 and underscoring the uncertainty of the day," Jeffrey Carlson, director, insurance consulting and technology, Willis Towers Watson, said in the statement. "The combination of social inflation, civil unrest, the economy, and uncertainty around COVID-19 has created an increasingly cautious industry."

CLIPS is a retrospective look at historical changes in commercial property-casualty prices and claims cost inflation.