In yet another sign of a hardening market, U.S. commercial insurance prices grew at an accelerated rate compared to a year ago, according to Willis Towers Watson’s latest Commercial Lines Insurance Pricing Survey.

Pricing jumped by nearly 4 percent in the 2019 second quarter compared to the same period a year ago, Willis Towers Watson said, noting that increases hovered closer to 2 percent over each of the previous five quarters.

Willis Towers Watson tailed price increases in most lines, with property, excess/umbrella, and directors and officers (D&O) approaching double-digit jumps for the first time in several years. Commercial auto, a weaker outlier in the past, saw reported price increases near or above double digits for the seventh consecutive quarter. The survey found prices trending higher for all account sizes, though more significantly for mid-market and large accounts.

“After so many quarters of modest increases, we are seeing a pickup, backing up general market sentiment,” said Alejandra Nolibos, senior director, Insurance Consulting and Technology business, Willis Towers Watson. “Adverse loss trends in auto and D&O, and deteriorating or potentially deteriorating loss trends in other casualty lines, together with the prospect of potentially diminishing reserve releases seems to have pushed carriers to demand higher prices.”

Source: Willis Towers Watson