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Marketscout sees signs of US market hardening

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Electronic insurance exchange Marketscout says the end of the soft market in the US “may be nearing” as small rate increases continue to be recorded, particularly in SME business.

CEO Richard Kerr says brokers and insurers “shouldn’t pop the champagne just yet, but there is light at the end of the soft market tunnel”.

Marketscout reported rate increases of 1% in commercial property and business pack risks for September, while workers’ compensation rates were up 2%.

On average, SME business saw rate increases of 3%, while medium-sized accounts were flat and large accounts saw a cut in rates.

Professional liability lines were flat, and Marketscout predicts that some insurers “will continue to suffer because of aggressive pricing on long-tail business”.