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WORKERS COMPENSATION rates higher in 3rd Quarter

The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers’ annual Commercial P/C Market Index Survey shows workers’ comp pricing increased on average 4.1 percent for the period July through September. For the P/C industry overall, the average increase was 0.9 percent.

The 4.1 percent increase in the workers’ comp line follows a 2.6 percent average increase in rates for the second quarter and a decline of 1.6 percent in the first quarter of the year. The third quarter of 2010 had an average rate decrease of 3.7 percent, according to the survey.

“The survey revealed some pressure on workers’ compensation and property lines,” the survey said. “A Northwest broker saw a ‘general pull back of underwriting appetite, specifically in workers’ compensation, property and environmental lines.'”

Underwriting and pricing was “stricter for workers’ compensation” in the Southeast, according to the survey. “The story was similar in the Midwest,” the survey said. “Carriers reviewed their property lines closely — reduced flood limits and tried to increase base rates on workers’ compensation.”

The majority of agents and brokers responding to the survey said workers’ comp rates had increased in the third quarter. When asked, “How much have premium rates changed over the last three months — July 1 through September 30?” Forty-eight percent said rates had increased by 1 percent to 10 percent, and another 11 percent said they were up 10 percent to 20 percent. Fifteen percent said there had been no change in rates while 11 percent said rates had declined between 1 percent and 10 percent.

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