NEWS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Nicole Vasile
Director of Communications
Survey Contact: Zach West
Market Intelligence & Insights Associate
PROPERTY OVERTAKES CYBER AS MOST TROUBLED LINE IN Q4 2022, ACCORDING TO THE COUNCIL’S QUARTERLY MARKET SURVEY
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Q4 2022 results showed similar trends to Q3 2022, according to The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers Commercial Property/Casualty Market Index. While there were signs of premium pricing moderation, premiums nevertheless continued to climb. Premiums increased for the 21st consecutive quarter in Q4 2022, with respondents reporting an average premium increase across all account sizes of 8.0%, down slightly from 8.1% in Q3 2022.
Signs of moderation were clearer across the various lines of business, with the majority recording average increases lower than in Q3 2022. Evidence of relief was also clear for the cyber and umbrella lines of business. The average increase in umbrella premiums dipped below 10% for the first time in 12 quarters, and while the average cyber increase was still high at 15.0% it was a notable decrease from 27.5% at the beginning of 2022. Workers compensation premiums also fell further in Q4, at -1.1%, with respondents suggesting carriers were using decreases for this line to “absorb” the increases in other lines.
The one line that did not experience any moderation or relief this quarter was commercial property. Premiums for this line increased by 16.0% in Q4 2022, marking the first time in seven quarters that a line other than cyber had the highest average increase in premiums. Respondents attributed this increase to inflation’s effect on property valuations and the cost of goods, as well as to the natural catastrophe losses from Hurricanes Ian and Nicole, and severe convective storms in the Midwest.
Inflation and natural catastrophe losses also contributed to difficulties with underwriting when it came to commercial property. “CAT property was extremely difficult in all aspects of the underwriting process,” said one respondent from a large Northeastern firm. Besides restricted capacity for this line—89% of respondents said commercial property capacity decreased in Q4 2022—respondents also pointed to increased deductibles for wind, including for non-coastal property, and to other requirements such as cosmetic roof endorsements and actual cash value endorsements for roofs over a specified age.
Brokers zeroed in on enhancing the customer experience in Q4 2022, with 45% of respondents identifying it as one of their top three priorities alongside “driving organic growth” and “recruiting and developing talent.” Respondent strategies focused on bringing in technology to help clients easily access the information they need, streamlining the application and renewal processes, and incorporating additional value-add services into their model, such as assistance with risk management, loss control, and regulatory compliance.