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A mid-year update on the commercial property/casualty market from USI Insurance Services is the latest to report rate stabilization in most lines of business — except for cyber.

The cyber insurance market “continued to correct” during the first half of 2022, with rates up 60 percent or more for optimal risks and more than 100 percent for less optimal or challenged risks, USI said its 2022 Commercial P&C Market Outlook Mid-Year Addendum.

“Post January 1, 2022, we continue to see rate increases and more technical and focused underwriting,” with the dramatic rise in ransomware attacks a major driver, said USI of policies that include cyber and privacy components. Stricter state regulations regarding consumer privacy and breach notifications continue to affect the insurance marketplace.

USI added that insurers are now ceding more business to reinsurers.

“The message is simple,” USI said, “Insurers are not increasing their commitments to the cyber sector but will write more if the reinsurer assumes more of the burden. Reinsurers are also becoming more cautious as losses increase in frequency and cost. As a result, insurers have tightened terms and conditions and seek to insulate themselves from potential cyber exposures by introducing ransomware restrictions. Given the recent increases in reinsurance, we continue seeing rate creep and higher premiums.”

Other lines:

  • Public-company directors & officers “continued its trend toward a buyer’s market,” USI reported. In total, rates are down 5 percent to up 10 percent, with primary coverage trending from flat increases to up 15 percent. Excess is down 10 percent to up 5 percent. “Conditions should continue to moderate unless there is a major stock market correction and/or major economic slowdown. The conflict in Ukraine and resulting withdrawals by businesses in the region and the impact of sanctions on certain industries could add some dark clouds to the otherwise clear skies,” USI said.
  • For property, USI said some carriers have cut back on capacity for, or outright exited, the Gulf Coast. Some insurance providers have “run out of capacity for named windstorm/hurricanes and therefore cannot write any new business with exposure on the Gulf Coast,” USI said. The roof age of buildings is coming under heavy scrutiny, with buildings older than 20 years old without updated roofs seeing less capacity and price increases. Still, rate increases remained consistent, overall, compared with year-end 2021.
  • Employment practices liability remained stable compared to year-end 2021, with increases of 5-20 percent. Insurers remain worried by issues such as pay disparities, discrimination, harassment and gig-worker classification. USI said claims continue to be submitted by employees fired for not getting vaccinated against COVID-19.