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Global Insurance Market Index

2020 Q3

Global Commercial Insurance Pricing Increased 20% in Third Quarter

Global commercial insurance pricing increased 20% in the third quarter of 2020, according to Marsh's quarterly Global Insurance Market Index, a proprietary measure of global commercial insurance premium pricing change at renewal, representing the world's major insurance markets and comprising nearly 90% of Marsh's premium. 
Key takeaways: 

  • Global property insurance pricing was up 21% versus 16.9% in Hong Kong 
  • Global financial and professional lines were up 40% versus 9.5% in Hong Kong. 
  • Global casualty pricing was up 6%, a slight drop from the 7% increase reported for the prior quarter, versus 5% in Hong Kong.  
  • Composite pricing in the third quarter increased in all geographic regions for the eighth consecutive quarter.
  • All regions, except Latin America (9%), reported double-digit pricing increases, led by the UK (34%), Pacific (33%), and the US (18%). Pricing changes in all regions were equal to, or greater, than increases reported for the second quarter.  
  • Public company directors and officers (D&O) coverages continued to see large increases. D&O pricing in the UK and Australia was up more than 100%, while pricing in the US was up nearly 60%. More than 90% of US public company D&O clients experienced an increase.

For Hong Kong, most insurance lines are now experiencing year on year premium rate increases.  Actual premium increases are being offset by lower payroll, turnover and reduced Business Interruption exposure. Most insurers are under pressure to raise pricing due to increased cost of capital requirements. 

The fallout from COVID-19 is being felt in many sectors globally leading to uncertainty on final losses. This is affecting the reinsurance market as much as the insurance market.

Constant bar chart represents Global Insurance Composite Pricing Change.

Highlights on Asia Commercial Insurance Pricing

Asia reported 12% increases year-over-year, driven by property (18%) and D&O (18%).


  • Pricing in the marketplace is highly fragmented, international insurers continue to push for increased pricing across Asia. Domestic insurers remain somewhat insulated from global losses and remain competitive in comparison.
  • Multinational programs and major placements have seen the greatest impact on their pricing with increases outpacing Asia’s increase of 18%. Deductibles are also coming under pressure and clients have taken the step to increase these in attempts to mitigate premium movements. 
  • CAT-exposed business in the region saw double-digit increases and a continued reliance on international markets for support. We have seen a trend gathering momentum that insurers are reducing line sizes.
  • Placements that can be completed in their domestic market, stand the best chance of achieving a favourable renewal outcome, as capacity and appetite for Mid-Market and Small and Medium Enterprise businesses remain strong. 


  • Pricing and capacity remains largely unchanged in the quarter, although overall pricing has increased for the first time after several years of decreases.
  • Movement in pricing is affecting countries including Korea, Hong Kong and Singapore more than others.
  • Large clients with exposures outside of Asia face pressures on pricing and recall remains a market where pricing is increasing.


  • This 17.9% pricing increase does not tell the full story as many clients are either having to or electing for increased retentions in order to help keep premium increases to this 17.9% average. Hence the effective “like for like” increase would be greater.
  • A reduction in capacity, particularly from global insurers, driven by poor global underwriting results contributed to pricing increases.
  • US listed D&O was the most affected by pricing increases, some as high as 100%. Very limited insurer appetite continues to drive this market.
  • Financial institutions (FIs) have experienced another quarter of rate growth, as insurer appetite for these risks was also limited. For the larger FIs in Asia there is also a big push by insurers to increase retentions, which have historically been significantly lower than rest of the world. In addition, coverage restrictions are being imposed on some clients.
  • Cyber Insurance remains relatively competitive with minimal rate increases being experienced. However the underwriting process is becoming more detailed and coverage is being restricted in some areas.
  • Commercial crime is also seeing a withdrawal of capacity as concerns with social engineering and phishing triggered frauds rises.