A.M. Best Vice President Andrew Colannino explains the rating agency’s ‘negative’ outlook on the commercial lines segment of the U.S. property/casualty (P&C) industry, despite relatively solid aggregate results over the past several years. He says A.M. Best’s expects more downgrades than upgrades in the coming year. The negative outlook largely reflects the concerns that have been prevalent in recent years: moderation and declines in commercial lines pricing, the potential for adverse loss reserve development and low investment yields.

Meanwhile, A.M. Best continues to have a ‘stable outlook’ on the personal lines segment of the U.S. P/C industry. Company-specific issues rather than overarching market trends will likely drive rating actions. Consistency in the automobile line continues to drive earnings. Pricing sophistication reflective of investments made by market leaders in multivariate pricing models has enabled insurers to analyze large amounts of data, segment their books of business and quickly recognize trends.

For more on A.M. Best’s outlook on the insurance industry, visit the A.M. Best website.

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