Australia premiums powering ahead: Marsh

Australian premium increases have driven a 16% jump in Pacific commercial pricing in the fourth quarter, supporting a pick-up in global gains, a Marsh market index shows. Property insurance pricing in the Pacific region rose 14.5%, the fourth consecutive quarter of year-on-year double-digit increases. Pricing for catastrophe and non-catastrophe risks rose in Australia and New Zealand, with many increases topping 10% and directors’ and officers' (D&O) cover again surging. “Financial and professional liability pricing increased more than 20%, continuing a string of double-digit increases observed over the last six quarters,” Marsh says. “Pricing and deductibles increased substantially, with D&O and financial institution pricing increasing by as much as 30% on some risks in both Australia and New Zealand.” The Marsh Global Insurance Market Index measures commercial premium pricing changes at renewal, covering the world’s major insurance markets and comprising nearly 90% of Marsh’s premium. Globally commercial insurance pricing increased for a fifth consecutive quarter, with the average gain of 2.1% marking the steepest acceleration since the survey began in 2012. Prices rose by 1.4% in the third quarter. “The increase was largely driven by property and financial and professional lines of coverage,” Marsh says. “Overall, the market remained stable with price fluctuating within a relatively narrow range across most products and geographies.” Regionally, the Pacific had the largest pricing increases in the index, a trend that has continued for seven quarters. The UK, Continental Europe and Latin America all reported average pricing increases of at least 1%. Asia rose 0.4% for its first increase in composite prices since late 2014, while US pricing also rose 0.4% Globally property pricing increased almost 4% on average, slightly above the rates recorded in the previous three quarters. Casualty prices declined nearly 1% on average, continuing a trend started in 2013. 

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