Property Insurance Premiums Continue to Increase in Regions Prone to Hurricanes and Earthquakes Although Average Property Premiums Reflect Stability
New York, Nov. 6, 2006 � According to the RIMS Benchmark Survey™, commercial insurance premiums fell slightly in the third quarter of this year, representing a continuation of the trends that occurred in the past two quarters. The RIMS Benchmark Survey is the industry�s leading comprehensive survey of current policy renewal prices as reported by corporate risk managers.
Property insurance was the only line of business that increased in the third quarter, by 1.7 percent. This modest rise in average property insurance premiums masks the sharp increases that continue to affect businesses with properties in regions exposed to hurricanes and earthquakes. Conversely, property owners in regions not prone to natural catastrophes continue to enjoy falling premiums.
�The situation remains grim for property insurance buyers in Florida and along the Gulf Coast, and earthquake coverage is skyrocketing in California,� said Joseph Restoule, member, RIMS Board of Directors, Membership and Chapter Services portfolio. �It doesn’t appear as if property insurance premiums in these areas will improve any time soon, but the upside is that risk managers are getting relief in other lines of insurance.�
In the first half of 2006, the property and casualty industry reported an underwriting profit of $15.1 billion, a 31.8 percent increase over the same period in 2005, and it may report record profits for the full 2006 calendar year, pending any major catastrophes. Policyholders� surplus, the measure of insurance industry capacity, grew 2.7 percent. Advisen forecasts that this additional capacity may fuel competition within the industry that would encourage insurers to decrease premiums.
�Unless you own property on the coast or along a fault line, it�s increasingly a buyer�s market, and market conditions should continue to improve for risk managers,� said David Bradford, editor-in-chief at Advisen. �It looks likely that 2006 will be a banner year for the property and casualty insurance industry. A profitable year will encourage insurers to further cut prices.�
Directors and Officers (D&O) and general liability premiums decreased by less than one percent in the third quarter, though competition for small- and mid-size D&O accounts remained intense. Workers� compensation premiums dropped by nearly 3.4 percent, reflecting the impact of reform measures in large states such as California and Florida.
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. 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.
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. www.rims.org
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