US commercial insurance market remains soft

According to new data recently released by insurance broking firm Marsh Inc., conditions of the US commercial insurance market remain soft; weak fourth quarter returns continue the trend already set by previous quarters of 2010.

Marsh, based in New York, released a statement that delineated how their clients that have chosen to renew their business insurance programmes have experienced a reduction in their rates for all major business sectors as compared with the same period of time in 2009.

The fourth-quarter rate update issued by the insurance broker is calculated from transactional data gathered by the firm’s own business through the initial weeks of November. ¬†In a comparison to the report Marsh issued in regards to third-quarter results, market conditions have been stagnant.

Compared to the fourth quarter of 2009, property rates faced an average decline of 4.4 per cent.  Additionally the insurance broking firm reported that general liability rates declined by 6.9 per cent on average as well.

During the fourth quarter workers compensation rates also declined by an average of 3.7 per cent, while public liability rates for directors and officers of certain firms faced a decline of 7 per cent on average for primary programmes and 10.3 per cent for total programmes.  Additionally rates for employment practices liability insurance faced a decline of 4.7 per cent for total programmes and 4.6 per cent for primary programmes.

Dean Klisura, US leader of risk practices for Marsh, released a statement in conjunction with the fourth quarter report remarking that the insurance broker had no expectations of a reverse of the current market trend for at least the immediate future unless a market-changing event were to occur.

Founded in 1871, Marsh is one of the largest global insurance broking and risk consultancy firms currently operating today with a staff of over 23,000.

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