CEO Richard Ward says commercial premiums will rise

Lloyd’s chief executive Richard Ward has said commercial insurance prices will start rising again just as customers are trying to cut costs, Dow Jones reports.

"Insurers are no longer going to be able to support underwriting with investment income," making increases inevitable, he said.

Customers are raising their deductible or cutting back on coverage to keep costs under control, which could hold back overall premiums for insurers. He said the current situation makes it difficult to estimate how much overall premiums will grow.

"I think everyone is struggling," Ward said.

Ward said that insurance prices are rising more rapidly in business lines affected by Hurricane Ike, which came ashore in Texas last year.

Offshore energy and property coverage in the Gulf of Mexico area, aviation and reinsurance are all seeing rate increases in the single-digit range, Ward said.