Top 25 Writers Prop Up Premium for New York Commercial Automobile
By Douglas A. Powell, Senior Financial Analyst
For the year ending December 31, 2011, Direct premium written (DPW) for New York commercial automobile writers remained relatively flat compared to the year ending December 31, 2010, decreasing less than one percent. This decrease to New York commercial automobile DPW represents an approximately $10 million change from the prior year. In fact, DPW has remained fairly stagnant since 2009 for commercial automobile writers in New York.
In contrast, the 2011 DPW reported for New York commercial automobile writers indicated a sharp decline when compared to the level from 2007. Since 2007, DPW has decreased approximately $149 million for commercial automobile writers in New York.
Joseph L. Petrelli, President, Demotech, Inc., in assessing the data states, “Although we can hope that the decrease in premium volume is related to declines in commercial automobile loss frequency, severity or enhanced law enforcement, the reality is likely softness in the pricing cycle.”
The three lines of business combined to make up New York commercial automobile are commercial automobile no-fault, commercial automobile physical damage and other commercial automobile liability. Of these three lines of business, other commercial automobile liability accounted for $1.36 billion, or 78 percent, of the total 2011 New York DPW. Commercial automobile physical damage accounted for 14 percent and commercial automobile no-fault accounted for 8 percent of the total 2011 New York DPW, $225 million and $160 million respectively.
Top 25 Individual Companies by 2011 Year-end DPW Growth
As of December 31, 2011, the Top 25 individual New York commercial automobile insurers increased their direct premium written by nearly 25 percent, approximately $123 million, year over year. In contrast, the remainder of insurers writing New York commercial automobile reported a decrease in DPW of approximately 10.6 percent, or $132.5 million, year over year. As stated above, in total, direct premium written for New York commercial automobile writers decreased $9.8 million, less than one percent. Consequently, the Top 25’s growth almost offset the decrease in premium experienced by the other New York commercial automobile insurers.