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Commercial Insurance Buyers Benefit From Ample Capacity
Date:9/30/2009

KANSAS CITY, Mo. and LONDON, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- In its newly published Lockton Market Update, global insurance broker Lockton says that the markets are in a relative state of calm and insurance buyers are benefitting from generally stable pricing. The online update includes snapshots of more than two dozen markets with the latest trends facing risk managers, chief financial officers and other executives.

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Lockton reports in an overview that U.S. P&C insurers saw results rebound to show a small profit in the first half of the year, after seeing an operating loss in the first quarter. Underwriting losses have declined since last year, but shrinking written premiums continue to pressure results. While underwriters have greater incentive to maintain pricing discipline than during the last several years, competitive pressures have, by and large, not allowed insurers much room to increase rates.

While a number of negative events hit insurers hard during the past year, this has not yet resulted in the broad hardened market that many anticipated. Lockton reports that variation by line and industry continues, and some of the more difficult markets during the past six months may become less volatile. Ample capacity will likely extend the favorable market in most lines for companies that have strong financials and clear loss histories.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Financial and Executive Risks -- Chris DiLullo of Lockton Financial Services observes, "The current D&O market environment is characterized by an ever growing landscape of new capacity for commercial organizations. An oversupply of capacity for both public and private organizations has prevented a hardening of the market in 2009 in the commercial sector. However, the environment for financial institutions has deteriorated during the past several years."
  • Property -- Jim Rubel of Lockton's Global Property Practice says many property insurance buyers have not seen the dramatic increases predicted, but those with CAT exposed property face difficulties. "Premium increases were not as bad as we first feared. Clients that were not exposed to catastrophes and had minimal losses generally saw only flat to moderate increases in their rates."
  • Casualty -- Mark Moreland of Lockton's Risk Management team notes that most casualty buyers continue to see favorable renewals, but also comments that often this is a result of competition. "Carriers have continued to employ a bifurcated pricing model for existing and new business. Many carriers have attempted to raise rates for existing business, while at the same time aggressively pricing new business."
  • Employee Benefits -- Ed Fensholt, JD, of Lockton Benefit Group comments on the impact of health care reform in the U.S., "The health reform train continues to careen down the tracks. Where it'll stop and what it'll look like when it enters the station--is still anyone's guess. Several common threads have emerged from the various proposals. Many would impact employers, including various versions of a 'Play or Pay' provision."

The report also provides in-depth analysis of global insurance markets, including aviation, international casualty, international property, financial risk, and cyber-liability.

To obtain free copies of Market Update, visit www.lockton.com or contact your local Lockton office.

About Market Update

Editors, features editors and reporters are invited to quote selections from these reports and articles to enhance their own reporting. Please contact the Lockton media team for permission to reproduce an article in its entirety or to speak with a Lockton expert. Lockton retains the rights to this copyrighted work.

About Lockton

More than 3,800 professionals at Lockton provide more than 15,000 clients around the world with insurance, benefits, surety and risk management services, offering an uncommon level of client service. Since its founding in 1966, Lockton has grown to become the 10th largest insurance broker in the world. Learn more at www.lockton.com

SOURCE Lockton Market Update


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SOURCE Lockton Market Update
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