Commercial auto rate increases slow to mid-single digits: RLI
Rate increases for commercial auto business have slowed to the mid-single digits, according to specialty insurer RLI, while the pace of price hikes in the excess and management liability lines have also moderated.
On Thursday, the Peoria, Illinois-based firm said rates increased on its casualty portfolio by 9% – better than the 6% gains in the second quarter – but that transportation price hikes had fallen from the double-digit increases from recent quarters.
“We are maintaining a good flow of business that meets our discerning appetite,” Jonathan Michael, RLI’s chairman and CEO, told Wall Street analysts on Thursday.
“The business we are underwriting is generally stickier with higher renewal retention and new business hit ratios,” he continued. “We are monitoring impacts from the supply chain and labor shortages as well as derived inflation.”
The chief executive’s comments came one day after the carrier said that underwriting income jumped to nearly $14mn from $1.2mn a year earlier, as it grew gross written premiums by almost 18% to $356mn. The third quarter’s results benefitted in part from strongly favorable prior-period development.
RLI’s president and CEO-in-waiting, Craig Kliethermes, said that despite the slowdown in rate gains, the company’s transportation business continues to benefit from a bounce back in the economy, though driver shortages continue to challenge the segment.
Kliethermes also noted that claim counts have continued to increase, closing in on pre-pandemic levels, and said that more jury trials were being scheduled.
He went on to say that in both the property and casualty segments, the carrier's E&S lines rates grew “a little faster” than other businesses.