We are in a “Hard” market for Property insurance. On average, property rates decreased from 2004 through 2017; however, approximately 18 months ago, the marketplace began to show the effects of multiple hurricanes in the east, wild fires in the west, and other global catastrophes. Now, amidst a global pandemic, we are entering what is being forecasted to be an extremely active Hurricane Season and the complete unknown of COVID-19.
Over the past 12 months, property insurance renewal rate increases of 25% or more have been typical for properties without claims, and 50% to 100% increases for those with significant claims.
Additionally, while the true effects of COVID-19 are still unknown, many experts are suggesting COVID-19 may be the single most costly event ever for insurance companies.
These “hard” markets are cyclical, so community associations should prepare and budget accordingly. And when the market softens, they should reserve those saved funds for the next hard cycle.
- Profitability: 2017 to 2019 was the most costly 3-year period on record for Property insurance companies.
- COVID-19: Industry experts are suggesting this could be the single worst catastrophe the insurance industry has ever seen.
- Hurricane Season: Forecasts predict 2020 to be a “hyperactive” hurricane season.
- Roof Age: 20 years has long been the “magic number” for insurer sensitivity. Hurricane Irma claims data revealed a huge spike in claims for roofs older than 12 years.
- Litigation: Litigation due to Assignment of Benefits, “social inflation,” and first party lawsuits have inflated losses for insurance companies.
- Education: Should be aware and prepared that the market has less capacity and becoming increasingly more expensive.
- Budget: Budget for these expected increases so associations are prepared.
- Preparation: Contractors should be inspecting your roofs and buildings every season. This allows for better roof condition as your roof ages and shows record keeping of repairs and ongoing maintenance.
There is no magic bullet for these increases, but hardening markets have always been cyclical in the insurance industry. As weather patterns improve and profitability increases, more insurance companies will throw their hats into the ring creating a more competitive marketplace.
Jeff Sanders, TRIP is Client Advisor at Gulfshore Insurance who works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis and guidance. Comments and questions are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org