Slowdown for Australian general insurers

Premium rate increases are way down due to cut-throat pricing, says JPMorgan and Deloitte survey.

Australia's general insurance industry has recorded mixed premium growth numbers for the June 2004 renewals period. Although dwarfed by life insurance, the general sector controls roughly A$76 billion $54 billion in assets and writes over A$20 billion $14 billion in annual net premium income. However, these amounts may be about to experience a period of prolonged inertia due to cut-throat pricing amongst competitors.

According to a joint JPMorgan and Deloitte survey, the domestic lines of insurance - household, motor and compulsory third party insurance - recorded a meagre 3% average increase in premium rates, while the change for the commercial insurance industry on average dropped by 5%.

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