If you’re insuring any type of property this year, it’s going to be difficult, especially if you’re in an area that experiences potentially catastrophic events such as hurricanes and wildfires.
While the insurance market in general has been tough, the property market has proven to be especially difficult. Trends have emerged among those who have already renewed their property and casualty insurance this year and they show the property market deteriorating rapidly.
Those with a clean renewal – people who have done everything they can to reduce risk and are not in areas prone to catastrophic events – will experience an average 15% rate increase.
If you are a clean risk but in an area that experiences natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods and wildfires, expect your insurance premiums to rise 25-40% on average. Traditionally, catastrophic events have largely been confined to California and Florida. However, these events are spreading to other areas. According to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), there were 18 catastrophic events in the US that cost $1B+ in 2022. These events consisted of tornado, hail storms, snow storms, wildfires, and sever convective storms.
The outlook is even more bleak in Florida, where the sky is the limit on premium increases. Insurance carriers only have a limited capacity to insure catastrophic areas, and that capacity is shrinking. Dedicated reinsurance capital deteriorated 15.7% at the end of 2022. That is the largest insurance capital squeeze since 2008. What is available after treaty negotiations gets filled up early in the year, so those renewing in the second half of 2023 will have a hard time finding coverage. They might have to obtain coverage from multiple carriers to reach the level of coverage they need.
Property values are feeling the pinch of economic factors such as inflation and the shortage of skilled workers. In addition, for years carriers would replace a building at current costs, even when the client was paying premiums on an outdated property value. Not anymore.
As insurers crack down, it’s a good time to reevaluate your insurance portfolio. However, expect an increase in asset valuation of at least 10%, based on the updated value of your property schedule.
There are several steps you can take to get the necessary coverage for your property at the best rates.
Start early. The earlier you begin the process, the more options you will have.
Tell your story. Work with your broker to tell the story you want the markets to hear.
- Have your properties been appraised? Can you discuss cost per square foot and methodology of the calculation? Underwriters want to know the cost trend is being applied to the correct starting figure.
- How do you mitigate and control costs in case of a claim? Do you have in-house contractors? Do you have pre-negotiated pricing with trusted vendors to avoid demand pricing surge after a natural disaster? Underwriters like to know you are proactive and planning ahead to help control expenses.
- Pay attention to the details!
Embrace the priority recommendations. Address any unresolved, aged life safety and human element recommendations that would affect pricing pressures or non-renewal notices. The days are over when people could ignore recommendations to reduce risk and still get coverage. Show the underwriters how you’re doing your part.
A good broker will be honest about the difficulties you face and the expected increases in your renewal. They will also explain challenges within the market that might impact your renewal.
Want to Learn More?
The experienced Property & Casualty team at RCM&D will uncover your story, sell your account to the market, and explore all creative alternatives to gain the best coverage and rates for you. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-409-2658.