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Business Insurance Price Rises Showing Signs of Slowdown

Business Insurance Price Rises Showing Signs of Slowdown

Rates across the majority of commercial lines are still experiencing increases, but the pace of the rise is starting to weaken, according to a recent webinar by actuarial firm Finity.
The firm suggests that higher rate increases will be more targeted where necessary, while the majority of risks can expect more moderate rate adjustments in the upcoming financial year FY24.

Despite this slowdown, financial lines stand out as an exception, with prices projected to remain stagnant or even decline. This trend has continued over the past six months and marks a departure from the previous years of ever-increasing rates. Finity attributes this shift to increased competition in directors’ and officers’ insurance, which has even led to rate reductions and signals a transition from a hard market cycle to a soft market cycle.

The recent Finity webinar concludes the release of Optima, the firm's annual report on the state of the general insurance industry, ongoing challenges, and emerging trends. Commercial lines' gross written premium (GWP) experienced double-digit growth for the fifth consecutive year in FY23, bringing the estimated GWP pool to over $27 billion—nearly double what it was in FY17.

Factors Driving Increased GWP

Finity attributes the significant increase in GWP to strong rate increases during the hard market phase, as well as the influx of capacity from overseas in certain segments. This increased competition has not only provided market players with more options but has also supported overall top-line growth. However, signs indicate that the hardening market is tapering off.

The Finity webinar also highlighted the impact of technology transformation on distribution trends within the insurance industry. The shift towards digital platforms has created new opportunities for efficiency and value, although at a higher cost. Maintaining or expanding profitability remains a crucial consideration for industry participants. Additionally, technology has enabled brokers to enhance their services by delivering better knowledge and insights to clients, making it a key enabler for the broker channel.

Published:Tuesday, 5th Dec 2023
Source: Paige Estritori

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