isolated line graph with a snail showing slow sales
isolated line graph with a snail showing slow sales

“Flat” continues to be the norm for U.S. commercial insurance prices as 2016 advances. Prices in aggregate for the sector ticked up by less than 1 percent in the 2016 second quarter, just as they did in Q1 according to Willis Towers Watson’s latest Commercial Lines Insurance Pricing Survey.

“The CLIPS results continue to highlight the different realities of the commercial market,” Alejandra Nolibos, director in Willis Towers Watson’s Americas Property & Casualty Insurance practice, said in prepared remarks. “Yes, the overall result is a modest increase in prices. But that simple measure masks opposing and persistent trends by line worth paying attention to.”

The CLIPS survey compared prices charged on policies underwritten during the 2016 second quarter to the same period in 2015.

As in Q1, the new CLIPS survey reflects a number of similar trends in individual commercial lines. For example, workers compensation, commercial property, and directors and officers reported moderate price decreases as they did in the first quarter. Commercial auto, on the other hand, is continuing to show “meaningful price increases” that “have even mildly accelerated over the past four quarters,” Willis Towers Watson said.

Willis Towers Watson said price changes for the most part hit the low single digits. For seven consecutive quarters running, price hikes were close to flat for large and mid-market accounts. As far as small commercial accounts, the CLIPS survey noted that they “moderated somewhat and are nearly flat as well.”

“Slightly negative” price changes were typical for specialty accounts.