Average USA Insurance Premiums Hold Steady in Second Quarter: RIMS Survey

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Insurance Premiums Remain Flat or Decrease Slightly As Hurricane Regions Continue to Endure Increase in Property Insurance Premiums

New York, Aug. 16, 2006 – According to the RIMS Benchmark Survey™, commercial insurance premiums were flat to slightly lower in the second quarter of this year compared to the prior year. The RIMS Benchmark Survey is the industry’s leading comprehensive survey of current policy renewal prices as reported by corporate risk managers.

In the second quarter, Directors and Officers (D&O) premiums dropped 3.5 percent, the largest decrease of any line of business tracked by the Survey. This reduction was due largely to rate cuts for small- to medium-sized businesses.

Average property insurance premiums were largely unchanged, although the average masks significant discrepancies between policies in hurricane-exposed regions and policies in other parts of the country. Insureds in Florida and the Gulf Coast states are experiencing massive increases in the aftermath of the record-shattering 2005 hurricane season. Those in the mid-Atlantic states are also encountering higher premiums, while insureds in the Western and, especially, Midwestern states are enjoying substantial savings in property premiums.

“Aside from the increase in property insurance premiums in catastrophe-exposed regions, insurance premiums continue to trend downward,” said David Bradford, editor-in-chief at Advisen. “We expect to see this trend continue for the remainder of 2006. The industry had a good first quarter which will further fuel competition.”

“Forecasting services are predicting another active hurricane season,” said Joseph Restoule, member, RIMS Board of Directors, Membership and Chapter Services portfolio. “Risk managers are generally benefiting from softer rates but companies in natural catastrophe-exposed regions aren’t likely to see property insurance pricing conditions improve anytime soon.”

As predicted by Advisen analysts in the first quarter, general liability, which experienced a slight uptick in average pricing in the first quarter, resumed its downward slide in the second quarter, falling 1.2 percent. Advisen analysts claimed the increase in general liability premiums were a temporary response to a spike in property premium levels. Workers compensation was essentially unchanged.

About The RIMS Benchmark Survey™

Risk managers who contribute insurance schedule data to the survey can benchmark both the structure of their commercial insurance programs and the cost of insuring their risk against a highly-relevant group of peer companies. Additionally, survey respondents can use software personalized and configured for their needs to view detailed schedules of insurance, programs for current and past years, and full-color program tower charts. Both benchmark charts and program charts download into any presentation for senior management. The results of the RIMS Benchmark Survey are available online or in an annually-published book. Visit www.rims.org/benchmark for details.

The RIMS Benchmark Survey is produced by Advisen, Ltd., which collects and analyzes the data and provides the technology infrastructure for the survey’s online services. Risk management professionals can contribute by e-mailing current and prior year policy schedules to Benchmark@RIMS.org or by faxing to 212.655.7453. During the last quarter, Advisen introduced an additional way to help Risk Managers contribute to the RIMS Benchmark Survey. The advent of the “Broker Authorization Letter” enables Risk Managers and buyers of insurance to contribute to the RIMS Benchmark Survey by designating their broker to provide the client’s program details. The letter is available at www.rims.org/brokerform or by calling 800.655.6590.

About RIMS

The Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing the practice of risk management, a professional discipline that protects physical, financial and human resources. Founded in 1950, RIMS represents nearly 4,000 industrial, service, nonprofit, charitable, and governmental entities. The Society serves over 9,600 risk management professionals around the world.

About Advisen

Advisen Ltd. provides carriers, brokers, risk managers and other insurance professionals with an integrated analytics and information platform for insight to make key commercial insurance and risk management decisions. Advisen’s over 400 clients access the on-demand, web-based service for research on 275,000 program transactions, 180,000 claims, 80 industries and 1.7 million companies and organizations. Advisen member firms gain higher value on the above information through analytic functions such as: benchmarking, work-up and submission templates, insurance program management, policy & law comparisons, loss & exposure analysis, corporate governance, financial metrics, news and significant case data. Over 40,000 insurance professionals use Advisen every day. Visit www.advisen.com or call 212.897.4800.