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US personal lines premiums enjoy moderate rise

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The composite premium rate for US personal lines was up 2% in the third quarter, according to analyst MarketScout.

CEO Richard Kerr says insurers may feel they suffered last year amid large catastrophe losses, but there is no momentum for more aggressive rate rises.

Rate rises for motor insurance slowed to 3% in the third quarter, compared with 4% gains in the second quarter. Commercial rates gained 2.5%, matching the second-quarter increase.

Mr Kerr says rates continue to rise slowly as insurers take a measured approach.

Property and business interruption rates were down 1%. Workers’ compensation rates continued to decline, dropping 3%, matching the fall in the second quarter. General liability rates increased 3%.

Transportation and commercial motor rates recorded more aggressive rate increases of 6%.

The market accepts such increases because only a small number of insurers are willing to underwrite commercial motor and trucking risks, Mr Kerr says.