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US personal lines rates keep on climbing

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Personal lines insurance in the US continued to record rate increases in the third quarter of 4.5%, insurance exchange MarketScout says.

This comes after a 3.5% rise in the second quarter.

Average rates for home insurance increased the most at 6.5%, driven by rate increases in catastrophe-prone areas in Florida and California. Auto and personal articles increased by 1% over the third quarter to 4.5% and 3.5% respectively.

MarketScout CEO Richard Kerr says catastrophe-exposed homes are suffering significant increases even without being struck by catastrophes like Hurricane Dorian.

Property and casualty insurers saw rate increases in almost every industry and line, with a composite rate increase of 4%. Commercial property was up 4.5%, and business interruption increased by 4%.

Auto underwriters increased prices by 6.5% in the third quarter. Surety is the only line that showed any moderation, with a price decrease from 1.5% to 1%. Workers’ compensation rates held steady with a reduction of minus 1.5%.

The third quarter was “relatively benign” for property insurers, Mr Kerr says. “This helped slow the rapid pace of increases; however, property rates continue to trend upward.”