U.S. commercial insurance carriers saw more price increases in the 2018 fourth quarter, but the growth was slight. Prices for policies underwritten during the quarter grew just under 2 percent on average compared to the same period in 2017, according to Willis Towers Watson’s latest Commercial Lines Insurance Pricing Survey (CLIPS).

Trends continued on a similar trajectory from the 2018 third quarter and earlier in the year, with some commercial insurance lines growing more than others.

Commercial property prices, for example, saw prices grow more than 4 percent on average during the quarter. Commercial auto produced price increases at or near double digits for the fifth consecutive quarter, Willis Towers Watson said.

Workers compensation was an exception once again, with “ongoing material price reductions” according to the CLIPS report.

As well, Willis Towers Watson determined that early reports of 2018 claim cost inflation showed higher cost increases than in 2017.

“Price increases for the fourth quarter were primarily modest, yet sustaining the level reported throughout 2018,” said Jeffrey Carlson, director, Insurance Consulting and Technology, Willis Towers Watson. “Also, the uptick in carriers’ reported claim cost inflation for 2018 may be contributing to upward pressure on rates.”

Willis Towers Watson said that the survey involved data from 39 insurers representing approximately 20% of the U.S. commercial insurance market, excluding state workers compensation funds.

Source: Willis Towers Watson