First Quarter RIMS Benchmark Survey Results Show Soft Market Gaining Momentum

Property premiums post largest quarterly decrease since Hurricane Katrina

NEW YORK, N.Y., April 4, 2008 – Commercial lines insurance premiums experienced the largest quarterly drop since 2005 during the first quarter of 2008, according to the RIMS Benchmark Survey™, the industry’s leading survey of policy renewal prices as reported by corporate risk managers.

Undeterred by mounting claims from the meltdown of the subprime mortgage market, the average directors and officers liability (D&O) premium fell 19 percent in the first quarter, the largest decrease of all the lines of business tracked by Advisen for the RIMS Benchmark Survey™. Continuing the trend of steady, moderate decreases exhibited over the past two years, general liability premiums fell another two percent. After demonstrating a moderating trend over the course of 2007, workers compensation price decreases surged during the first quarter, falling 11 percent. In a clear indication that competition is returning to catastrophe-exposed regions, property premiums fell 6 percent-the largest quarterly decrease since Hurricane Katrina.

“We expected to see the soft market continue into 2008,” says John R. Phelps, ARM, CPCU, member of RIMS Board of Directors and director of business risk solutions for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Inc. “Not only are soft market conditions on-going, they appear to be accelerating, due in no small part to the excellent combined ratios for key markets. This bodes well for insurance buyers this year.”

“Frankly, we were surprised to see downward momentum building at this pace,” says David Bradford, editor-in-chief of Advisen. “It is an indication of just how overcapitalized the commercial property and casualty insurance industry is. Rapidly deteriorating rate levels will probably wipe out insurer underwriting profits this year, but if there are no major catastrophes, premiums should still continue to fall for a while.”

About The RIMS Benchmark Survey™

The RIMS Benchmark Survey™ is produced by Advisen, Ltd., which collects and analyzes data and provides the technology infrastructure for the survey’s online services. Advisen introduced the Data Participation 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 more than 4,000 industrial, service, nonprofit, charitable, and governmental entities. The Society serves more than 10,700 risk management professionals around the world. For more information, visit

About Advisen

Advisen Ltd. equals success for insurance professionals, driving growth and profitability through the broadest platform of analytics and information services. Designed and evolved by risk and insurance experts, and used daily by more than 100,000 professionals, Advisen combines the industry’s deepest data sets with proprietary analytics and applications that drive the risk and insurance lifecycle. Advisen is headquartered in New York with offices in London. For more information, visit or call (212) 897-4800.

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