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Australian prices rise amid global market rally: Marsh

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Commercial premium price increases in the Pacific region, where Australia is the largest market, rose 18.8% in the third quarter, as global gains accelerated, Marsh says.

“Global pricing has now increased every quarter for nearly two years and market capacity is starting to show signs of tightening in certain geographies and lines of business,” Marsh President Global Placement Dean Klisura said.

The Marsh Global Insurance Market Index, which reflects renewal pricing, showed an overall 7.8% rise in the third quarter, after gains of 5.8% in the preceding three months.

The Pacific region had the largest composited pricing increase in the index, a quarter trend that has continued for almost three years.

Financial and professional liability pricing rose 27.5% in the region, with increases of 100% “not uncommon” for listed company directors’ and officers’ entity cover, where class actions are a factor.

“The claims environment has led to a number of insurers exiting the marketplace, with others taking firmer positions on price, capacity and retentions,” the report says.

“A large volume of Australian business is being placed into the London market, where similar firming is evident.”

In property insurance, many risks in Australia and New Zealand experienced price increases of 10-20%.

Gains across many industries, including real estate, mining and downstream energy, came amid reduced capacity and appetite from major insurers.

Data for the report is gathered from the world’s major insurance markets and comprises nearly 90% of Marsh premium.

US pricing increased 6.4%, accelerating from a gain of 4.8% in the second quarter while UK gains gathered pace to 11.8%, driven by property and financial and professional liability. Asia pricing increased 5%, the largest composite increase in five years.