Willis: Commercial D&O Sector Continues to Resist Rate Increases
--Average Premium Reduction of Five Percent on Renewal Business;
Continued Reductions Expected for Third Quarter--
London, UK, September 11, 2009 – The commercial sector continues to resist thesharp rate increases for
Directors & Officers insurance seen in the financialinstitutions sector, with the average premium for
commercial business falling fivepercent in the second quarter, according to a new survey from Willis
Group Holdings(NYSE:WSH), the global insurance broker.
The five percent reduction is for commercial clients with strong risk profiles, Willisnoted. Reductions are
smaller for those more directly impacted by the financialdownturn or with highly leveraged balance sheets,
and some may even be seeingslight increases in premium. This compares with double-digit percentage premiumincreases
levied on financial institutions during the second quarter, as the fallout fromthe credit crisis
Based on feedback from the London market, Willis expects the commercial sector will see continued small
reductions over the next three months.
The Willis D&O Index is produced quarterly by FINEX Global, Willis’ Financial, Executive Risk and
Professional Liability business, and asks D&O insurers from Lloyd’s and the London market to comment
on premium rates and coverage terms for the preceding three months, as well as make
projections for the upcoming quarter.
The Willis survey also found that the commercial market continues to benefit from significant capacity for
business domiciled outside of the USA, with new entrants into the market providing significant
excess competition. It also shows that the fallout from the banking crisis has yet to
filter through into significant claims.
Commenting on the findings of the survey, Julian Martin, Executive Director of Willis FINEX Global, said,
“Owing to the economic downturn, we are experiencing an increased level of scrutiny and
underwriting analysis, meaning that is essential for renewal negotiations to begin early in order to
deliver timely renewals. Despite this, policy coverage remains broad and the wealth of information now
being requested of clients should be given particular attention and the specifics thoroughly analyzed. When
it comes to renewal business, we would urge that all forms of No Claims Declaration
should be avoided.”
In addition to the survey results, the latest Willis Index D&O newsletter features a commentary by
Jane Hickman and Ben Rose of Hickman & Rose Solicitors on how directors and officers
are under increased risk due to tougher action by prosecuting agencies against those deemed
“fraudulent” or “reckless.” Hickman and Rose argue that this increasingly litigious climate makes it crucial
for senior employees and directors to carry their own properly tailored D&O policy.
Willis Group Holdings Limited is a leading global insurance broker, developing and delivering professional insurance,
reinsurance, risk management, financial and human resource consulting and actuarial services to corporations, public entities
and institutions around the world. Willis has more than 400 offices in nearly 120 countries,
with a global team of approximately 20,000 Associates serving clients in some 190 countries.
Additional information on Willis may be found at www.willis.com.
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