Global Insurance Market Index

2020 Q3

Asia Commercial Insurance Pricing Increased 12% Year-Over-Year 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. The increase, the largest since the index was launched in 2012, follows year-over-year average increases of 19% in the second quarter and 14% in the first quarter.

The average composite price increase of 20% was driven principally by property insurance rates and financial and professional lines. Among other findings, the survey noted:

  • Global property insurance pricing was up 21% and global financial and professional lines were up 40% on average, both greater than the increases reported for the second quarter. Casualty pricing was up 6% on average, a slight drop from the 7% increase reported for the prior quarter.
  • 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.

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%).
 

Property

  • 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. 

Casualty

  • 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.

FINPRO

  • 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.

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