Inflation troubles insurers as pricing up 11pc in Q1/22

Global commercial insurance prices increased by 11% in the first quarter of the year, according to the Global Insurance Market Index published today by Marsh, continuing a trend of moderating rate increases that began in Q1 2021.

While this is the 18th consecutive quarter of increases, the rate of increase continues to moderate across most lines of business and in almost all geographies, the report notes.

Pricing increases across most regions moderated due to a slower rate of increase in financial and professional lines.

The UK, with a composite pricing increase of 20% (down from 22% in Q4 of 2021), and the US, where prices increased 12% (down from 14%) continued to drive the global composite rate. The rate of increase in Pacific was 10% (down from 13%), in Asia 3% (down from 4%) and 6% in Continental Europe (down from 9%).

For the second consecutive quarter, the one exception to the moderating trend was Latin America and the Caribbean where rates increased by 6% (up from 4% the previous quarter).

Commenting on the report, Lucy Clarke, president, Marsh Specialty and Marsh Global Placement, said: “The war in Ukraine, while most importantly a humanitarian tragedy, has added pressure to what is already a challenging insurance market for our clients. We are also beginning to see the impact of rising inflation on loss costs and exposure growth, which in turn could affect pricing.

“However, market fundamentals remain strong and we expect rate increases to continue their moderating trend. We will continue to help clients find competitive pricing and coverage, as well as meaningful insights into how the quickly changing market dynamics may impact their risks.”

Further report findings (Source: Marsh)

• Global property insurance pricing was up 7% on average, down from an 8% increase, in the first quarter of 2022; casualty pricing was up 4% on average, down from 5% in the previous quarter.

• Pricing in financial and professional lines, largely driven by cyber, again had the highest rate of increase across the major insurance product categories, at 26%. This was down from 31% in the previous quarter, due to a slower rate of increase for D&O.

• Cyber insurance rates continued to rise driven largely by the continued increase in the frequency and severity of ransomware claims with many insurers seeking to tighten coverage terms and conditions, especially in relation to the conflict in Ukraine. Prices increased 110% in the US (down from 130% in Q4 2021), and 102% in the UK (up from 92%).

• Increases in inflation are already impacting claims in several lines of business and have been flagged by insurers as a concern in affected geographies.

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