Businesses with fleets will be getting some relief from soaring insurance costs in the coming year, according to a Nov. 12 report in the Memphis Business Journal. Analysts believe rates on commercial liability insurance will increase only slightly next year, significantly less than rate increases the past three years. John Gwyn, an analyst with Morgan Keegan, told the Business Journal he expects a rate increase of 3 percent to 5 percent. Rates began to rise in 2000, but after 9/11, prices skyrocketed. In 2002, the American Trucking Association and its 50 federated state trucking associations released the results of a survey of 1,000 trucking companies that documented the severity of the rising costs for primary and "umbrella" insurance. The survey shows that primary, or general liability, rates increased by 32 percent for carriers renewing in 2001, with those renewing after 9/11 paying an average of 37 percent more. Rate increases for umbrella insurance in 2001 averaged 74 percent, and after 9/11, they climbed to 120 percent, with one increase of more than 1,000 percent, according to the Business Journal report.
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