Rates for commercial insurance buying have dropped 18 quarters in a row, according to figures from Marsh

Marsh has revealed that commercial insurance pricing has dropped for every consecutive quarter for the last 18 quarters.

Average global insurance rates were down 1.6% in 2017’s third quarter, according to the US insurance broker’s London-based international arm.

However, that decline has slowed from the 2.2% decrease Marsh observed for the previous quarter.

“The third quarter of 2017 was the 18th consecutive quarter in which average rates declined globally, largely due to capacity in the marketplace and competitive underwriting,” said Dean Klisura, president, global placement and specialties at Marsh.

The slowdown of soft market pricing for commercial insurance was evident across property, financial and professional lines, according to the broker’s Global Insurance Market Index report.

Global property rates declined, on average by 1.7%, in the third quarter compared to a decrease of 2.8% in the prior quarter.

Financial and professional lines declined, on average by 1.4%, compared to a 2.1% decrease in the previous quarter.

Casualty rates were unchanged from the second quarter, down 1.7%, Marsh said.

Geographically, a higher rate of average decrease was observed in the US, Continental Europe, and Latin America in the third quarter as compared to the prior quarter, according to the broking firm.

Average rates decreased in the UK and Asia in the third quarter, but at less pronounced levels than observed in the previous quarter.

Meanwhile rates increased in Australia for the third consecutive quarter.

“It is worth noting that property damage and business interruption losses from the recent natural disasters in the US and elsewhere had little to no impact on average rates in the quarter as they occurred late in the reporting period,” said Klisura.

“Early indications are showing evidence of rate increases for US catastrophe-exposed property risks,” the broker’s president for global placement and specialties added.