Sihle Insurance Group is taking a look at the latest Moody’s Investors Service rate change and trend survey, and here’s a look at what is most important:

• Catastrophes from 2018, including Hurricanes Florence and Michael, will extend the moderate upward pressure on property rates, especially in areas suffering the most losses • Rates expected to continue moderately upward, especially with commercial property insurers as they sought overall rate increases of roughly 4% in 2018. While insurers are anticipated to boost rates by low single digits, the insurance market has “ample capital to absorb the latest events and limit the overall rate increases” according to the report

• Commercial Auto anticipates rate increases of about 9.5 percent in 2018, following increases of 7.0 percent in 2017, which will help reduce combined ratios from recent highs to about 105-106 in 2019. Insurers see commercial auto loss costs rising by 4 to 5 percent in 2018-19, reflecting increased miles driven, higher attorney involvement in claims, a jump in large claims (over $10 million) and a tight labor market with transportation firms hiring inexperienced drivers.

• On the Commercial General Liability side, some warnings from Moody’s findings include higher non-products liability (slip and fall) claims among smaller insurers that serve middle market businesses, increased lawyer involvement in claims and adverse auto liability trends within commercial umbrella policies. Moody’s adds that insurance carriers are hurt by low investment yields and “aggressive litigation against insured parties or expanded interpretations of insurance coverage.”

• When it comes to Professional/Specialty Liability, Moody’s surveyed insurers have sought rate increases of roughly 1.5% in 2018. However, Moody’s is projecting those ratios will deteriorate, partly due to rising costs of directors/officers, and errors/omissions claims.

Sihle Insurance Group has experts on hand to walk through the forecast for 2019. You can reach them at sihle.com or 407-869-0962.