Commercial Insurance Premiums Indicate USA Market Momentum: RIMS Survey

Property Insurance Premiums Spike in Fourth Quarter 2006, While Directors and Officers and Workers’ Compensation Premiums Drop Significantly

New York, Feb. 5, 2007 — In the fourth quarter of 2006, commercial insurance premiums reflected some of the year’s most dramatic rate changes, according to the RIMS Benchmark Survey™. As predicted by Advisen analysts, the soft market continues to gain momentum due to a relatively stable year free of major catastrophes. The RIMS Benchmark Survey™ is the industry’s leading comprehensive survey of current policy renewal prices as reported by corporate risk managers.

In the fourth quarter of 2006, Directors and Officers (D&O) and workers’ compensation reported the largest decreases in premium rates with 5.1 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively. D&O continues to be a very competitive line of business with rate decreases further stimulated by a sharp drop in the number of securities class action suits filed in 2006, as tracked by Advisen—112 in 2006 as compared to 186 suits filed in 2005. Competition has been spurred in the workers’ compensation line of business due to reform measures passed in several large states.

Property insurance was once again the only line of business that increased in the fourth quarter by 6.6 percent. This sharp increase was caused by the continuing legacy of the 2005 hurricane season. Rate increases continue to affect not only property owners with coastal exposures in the Southeast, but also companies with windstorm exposures in Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states, and earthquake exposures in California.

“Risk managers have benefited from lower premiums in most lines of business, but continue to be challenged by skyrocketing property catastrophe premiums,” said Joseph Restoule, RIMS secretary and member of the board of directors. “However, we’ve now gone a full renewal cycle since the catastrophes experienced in 2005. There are reasons to be optimistic that the market for catastrophe coverage will stabilize and even improve in 2007.”

Aggregate policyholders” surplus, the measure of insurance capacity, increased sharply in 2006 as a result of strong pricing and few catastrophe losses. According to a report released by A.M. Best Co. in December, property and casualty policyholders” surplus grew 8.7 percent to $477.3 billion.

“Greater capacity resulting from a very profitable 2006 means that underwriters are going to be under pressure to slash rates further in 2007,” said David Bradford, editor-in-chief, Advisen, “Even risk managers with coastal property exposures should see improvements this year.”

General liability premiums continued to decrease slightly in the fourth quarter by 2.6 percent. Changes in general liability reported in 2006 show premiums for the year were relatively unchanged.

About The RIMS Benchmark Survey™

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. Advisen introduced the “Broker Authorization Letter” that 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 or by calling (800) 655-6590. Risk management professionals can also contribute by e-mailing current and prior year policy schedules to [email protected] or by faxing to (212) 655-7453.

Risk managers who contribute data to the survey can benchmark the structure of their commercial insurance programs, retained loss costs, exposure demographics and Total Cost of Risk (TCOR) 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 for details.

About the Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc

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 nearly 10,000 risk management professionals around the world. For more information, visit

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 half a million program transactions representing 75,000 companies, 375,000 claims, 80 industries, 1.7 million companies and organizations, and 40,000 commercial insurance professionals. 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 50,000 insurance professionals use Advisen every day. Visit or call (212) 897-4800. .

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