Average rates also decreased in Asia in the third quarter but at less pronounced levels than observed in the previous quarter

Australia has defied the global trend of declining rates after reporting a third straight quarter of increases, largely due to insurers’ response to recent poor underwriting performance across a number of lines.

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

Rates for commercial insurance buying has now dropped 18 quarters in a row, according to new figures from Marsh.

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.