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Commercial P&C rates declined in Q4'16, survey finds

The commercial P&C market saw rates continue to drop in the fourth quarter of 2016 across all account sizes, a trend that has been observed for eight consecutive quarters, according to a market survey conducted by the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers.

Rates dropped 3.3% on average in the fourth quarter of 2016, compared with the 3.2% average rate decrease seen in the third quarter of 2016. During the most recent quarter, rates for large accounts fell 4.9%, while those for medium accounts decreased 3.8%. Small accounts experienced a 1.3% decline in rates.

Commercial P&C market rates have been steadily declining, but the latest quarter-over-quarter comparison signals some pricing stability, according to the council.

Survey respondents noted that carriers are implementing "more aggressive and softer" pricing when underwriting new businesses. Talent management remained the top concern, and investments in the fourth quarter of 2016 were largely made to build talent and technology.