USA Property Insurance Rate Hikes Ease in Third Quarter: CIAB

by Regis Coccia

Oct. 23, 2003 — Commercial property insurance price increases eased during the third quarter of this year, according to the Washington-based Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers.

A survey of CIAB members released Wednesday found that nearly one-third of small and large property accounts and 27% of midsize accounts had either no change in premiums or up to a 10% decrease on renewal and new business in the third quarter.

“Although it is not surprising that rates are softening somewhat, there are a number of factors still present in the marketplace that make it unlikely that we will be seeing any rapid decline or a retreat to soft-market conditions in the near future,” Ken A. Crerar, president of the CIAB, said in a statement. Those factors include the weak economy, low investment returns and insurers’ need to build reserves, he noted.

Brokers surveyed reported that other lines also held steady or softened slightly during the third quarter of 2003 from the same period a year ago, CIAB said.

Lines cited included business interruption, in which 44% of respondents reported rate increases, down from 76% a year earlier; commercial general liability, in which 68% reported rate hikes, down from 88% in third-quarter 2002; and workers compensation, in which 62% reported increases, down from 79% a year ago.

Respondents said while rates are flattening, underwriters still are tightening terms and conditions, according to the report.

A copy of the report is available at

The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers is the voice of the market leaders and the premier association for commercial insurance and employee benefits intermediaries in the United Statesand abroad. From its headquarters in Washington, DC – with programs conducted throughout the nation and world – The Council represents the largest, most productive, and most profitable of all commercial insurance agencies and brokerage firms. Only the top one percent of all agents and brokers qualify. The Council’s members in more than 3,000 locations, place 80 percent — well over $90 billion — of all products and services protecting business, industry, government and the public at-large, and they administer billions of dollars in employee benefits. Since 1913, The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers has worked in the best interests of its members, securing innovative solutions and creating new market opportunities at home and abroad. For more information, visit