RATES FOR most commercial lines of insurance are likely to continue rising going into 2022, as claims costs mount across the board.

A new report from Marketscout notes that rate increases have accelerated across all major lines, but have been most pronounced in liability coverages.

The composite rate for commercial insurance pricing in the third quarter of 2021 was up 6.8% from the same period in 2020. The year-on-year rate of increase is higher than the 5.9% logged in the second quarter.

Factors driving these rate increases show no signs of waning. There are a number of factors affecting rates and they vary depending on where a business is located as well as the industry in which it operates. Insurance experts are predicting average rate increases of about 5% to 10% across most lines of coverage.

The Marketscout report looking at the third quarter of 2021 shines a spotlight on what business owners can expect going into 2022.

Here’s what happened in the that quarter:

Commercial property

What’s driving rates: Rates will vary depending on the location of a business. Companies in areas at high risk of natural catastrophes, like tornadoes, hurricanes, hailstorms and wildfires, are seeing the highest rate hikes, as well as non-renewals and even difficulty in securing coverage. For example, in wildfire areas of California and wind zones of Florida, rates were up over 20%.

Increasing frequency of catastrophes, as well as the severity of those events, is a key factor in this.. Also, higher rebuilding costs due to materials price inflation and labor shortages.

Employment practices liability insurance

What’s driving rates: According to industry experts, retaliation and sexual harassment claims, gig worker classification, the gender pay gap and medical marijuana usage were among the top trending employment practices litigation types.

Moreover, the average cost of employment-related claims is rising, along with the length of time it takes to resolve a claim.

Commercial auto

What’s driving rates: An increasing amount of accidents and deaths caused by distracted driving, higher medical costs for accident victims, and rapidly climbing repair costs for vehicles.

General liability

What’s driving rates: Higher jury and settlement awards.

Increased litigation and higher medical costs for bodily injury claims, as well.

Business owner’s policies

What’s driving rates: Since BOPs include property and liability coverage, the reasons rates are increasing are due to why property and general liability rates are rising, as above.

Umbrella and excess liability

What’s driving rates: Large judgments, the cost of litigation and a rising tide of lawsuits against businesses. Gallagher notes that the median verdict for the top 50 cases has doubled in the past four years.

Workers’ compensation

What’s driving rates: Continuing drops in the number of workplace injury claims being filed.

The takeaway

As your policies come up for renewal, it’s good to get a head start on shopping around. If you are concerned about your rates, give us a call.

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