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Cyber, property headed in opposite directions as conditions diverge: report 

Financial lines, including cyber, are a “bright spot” while other major product lines such as property will continue to face challenging conditions, broker WTW says in a North America market update. 

Cyber rates are likely to range from -5% to +5% at renewals as capacity expands, building on the premium stabilisation that began toward the end of last year. 

In contrast, catastrophe-exposed property accounts may be subject to price changes of +10% to +25%, according to the broker’s Insurance Marketplace Realities 2024 report. 

“Watching developments in the property and casualty (P&C) insurance lines over the last couple of years has been like watching a landslide, where a slight change in an unstable environment can cause the higher ground to shift, starting a chain reaction of compounding issues that destabilise the ground below,” the report says. 

“The direct property marketplace will continue to experience property catastrophe reinsurance challenges as insurers and insureds look to adopt buying decisions based on current market conditions. 

“On a brighter note, the financial lines, including cyber, appear to be on steady ground in a soft market.” 

The WTW report provides rate predictions, forecasts and market insights for 30-plus lines of insurance across the North America market. 

In property, every insured will see continued pressure at renewal on rates, values and terms. The overall risk profile of the insured will determine the overall impact. 

The report says the evolving meaning of catastrophe risk carries implications for insureds. 

The definition of natural catastrophe risk continues to be broadened from the traditional perils of earthquake and flood in high hazard zones and at the same time, a heightened concern from underwriters incorporates such secondary perils as severe convective storms, wildfires and freeze into the new definition.

“As insurers and reinsurers alike struggle to model and price given the expanding definition of CAT, increased costs will presumably be passed on to insureds,” the report says. 

Here are the rate predictions for other key lines: 

Directors’ and officers’
Public company – primary layer -10% to flat
Summary: Availability of abundant capacity continues to drive competitive market dynamics, but where insureds had experienced material premium relief in previous renewal cycles, the extent of decreases may begin to taper off. 

Personal lines
Catastrophe-exposed +50% or non-renewed
Homes under $US1 million ($1.5 million) +10% to +14% 
Auto +15% to +20% 
Summary: Market conditions continue to deteriorate for personal lines clients. Recent storms have exasperated an already stressed market fleeing from years of persistent high loss ratios. 

Terrorism and political violence
Terrorism and sabotage +5% to +20%
Political violence +15% to +40%
Summary: Rates continue to be impacted by major events in Chile, Hong Kong, South Africa and Ukraine. 

Click here to access the report.