For the first time in 20 months, the MarketScout composite rate index for commercial accounts in the United States measured a rate increase at plus 1 percent in the first quarter.

Rates for business interruption, general liability and surety coverages held steady in the quarter, while rates for property, inland marine and workers compensation dipped. All other coverages increased.

By industry class, every industry experienced a move toward higher rates in the first quarter. Transportation had the largest rate increase at plus 5 percent.

Richard Kerr, CEO of MarketScout, said the plus 1 percent composite rate index was driven by larger rate increases in commercial auto, transportation, professional liability, and directors and officers rates.

“The index also recorded small rate increases in the majority of coverage and industry classifications. So, 2017 begins with insurers moving away from the rate cuts of 2016,” Kerr said.

Small accounts (up to $25,000) were assessed a 1 percent rate increase in the first quarter of 2017. Medium accounts ($25,001-$250,000) were flat, while both large ($250,001-$1 million) and jumbo (over $1 million) accounts enjoyed rate decreases, coming in at minus 1 percent and minus 2 percent, respectively.

MarketScout is a Dallas-based national managing general agent and wholesale broker. The firm owns the MarketScout Exchange that helps retail agents find specialty markets. For its market barometers, MarketScout uses information from its own Exchange database of actual renewal rates quoted on risks from across the country, along with in-person surveys conducted by the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research with as many as 2,000 agents and brokers a month.

Source: MarketScout