If your insurance prices have been falling, that trend could be reversing, according to one survey.

NIP Group, Woodbridge, N.J., recently published the results of the Transportation Insurance Pricing Survey, an index designed to benchmark changes in the availability and rates in the transportation insurance marketplace. The survey was issued last month to the nation's leading transportation insurance brokers, wholesalers and underwriters representing thousands of account placements.

The survey results indicate that rate decreases are beginning to show signs of slowing in the fourth quarter of 2008, with some early signs of the trend moving in the direction of modest rate increases.

While the decline in prices has not been experienced across all account sizes, nearly all market segments and products have been affected by this trend.

According to respondents, the number of new insurance carriers competing for premium in transportation market segments has abated in the fourth quarter. The slowing of rate decreases was most noticeable in accounts with premiums of $75,000 or less, where the number of respondents who felt that rates were down by 10 percent or more fell by 25 percent since the third quarter.

In accounts with premiums between $75,000 and $250,000, the number of brokers who believed that rates were down by 10 percent or more fell just by 4 percent. The number of brokers who believed that rates were flat or increasing rose by more than 50 percent for all accounts with premiums of less than $250,000.

For accounts with premiums of more than $250K, the rate decreases were consistent to those experienced in prior quarters.

The survey also measures premium changes across ten different transportation segments. The flattening of rate decreases was seen by brokers insuring most segments but was most noticeable in the bulk transportation, charter/tour bus operators and airport ground transportation segments, where the number of respondents who observed any rate decrease was significantly lower than it had been in the third quarter.

Participants were also asked to comment on premiums by coverage type. The slow-down in rate decreases was especially visible in the motor truck cargo and warehouseman's legal lines of business.

Additionally, for the first time since TIPS' inception more than 50 percent of respondents indicated that rates on umbrella policies are equal to or higher than expiring rates.

More info: www.nipgroup.com/SurveyResults.aspx