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For many associations, insurance premiums are the largest overhead cost, so it’s very important to accurately forecast any changes. Each year, we review market conditions and trends that may impact your insurance renewal premiums, providing you with an educated look at how they may impact your association’s budget. The Florida condominium marketplace has tightened substantially over the past few months and may tighten further in the near future as a result of several developments happening simultaneously. These developments include but are not limited to the following.
- Everest is in the process of completely exiting the admitted and non-admitted condo marketplace in Florida.
- Weston is in the midst of non-renewing hundreds of condominium policies.
- NSM’s (CHAMP) current focus is on condominiums with TIVs less than $25M (seeking limits up to $30 million) through Renaissance Re as Lexington (which had much higher capacity) is non-renewing all policies starting February 1st 2021, where in the past they had also focused on TIVs in excess of $25M. This change is likely to impact hundreds of condominium accounts. Also, rate increases of at least 25% are being quoted.
- As of March, American Capital Assurance Corp. is no longer followed or rated by Demotech. In early March, AM Best downgraded American Capital Assurance Corp to a C (Weak), and further downgraded the Financial Strength Rating to D (Poor) on March 25, 2021.
- Effective Immediately (03/22/2021), New Business restrictions are in place for American Platinum Property and Casualty Commercial Residential Program. No new business will be written until further notice.
- AM Best Tower Hill Prime Insurance Company from “A-” to “B++” in December.
In response to these notable changes and sudden shift in demand for replacement or supplemental Florida condominium capacity, many of the carriers that remain active and viable in the Florida condominium space have upwardly adjusted their pricing, deductible requirements and/or underwriting guidelines, while sometimes simultaneously limiting the line size they are comfortable dedicating to any single placement.
While each upcoming Florida condo renewal result will stand on its own based on the individual characteristics of the account, rate increases in the 15% to 25%+ range are now commonplace in situations where the expiring program structure remains consistent. Older condo construction accounts, those that are being non-renewed, and those placed ground-up last year with no available ground-up solution this year are examples of accounts which may see rate increases well in excess of 25%, with 50% to 75%+ rate increases sometimes in play in such situations for a variety of reasons.
2021 is proving to be a more challenging market than 2020. Many clients are continuing to experience difficult renewals where they are encountering rate increases, deductible changes, and/or reduced coverage from carriers. As we continue into 2021, you can expect Property rates to continue to climb; social inflation to drive Liability pricing; and the hard market for D&O and Excess Casualty to continue as carrier concerns remain.
Below we break down what you can anticipate for the remainder of 2021, including current renewals.
Property premiums are on the rise and carriers are utilizing more discipline when underwriting new and renewal business. From increasing rates, higher deductibles to fewer enhancements and stricter underwriting, even the best in class properties are feeling some pressure.
Carriers rely on computer modeling to manage their risk and to ensure rates are adequate. They are paying much closer attention to their models, not only across their books, but across each individually written policy. This means that clients with strong risk profiles and good loss history may be impacted.
- Double digit rate increases can be expected. Non-CAT property with good loss history may see, on average 5% to 20% rate increases. CAT exposed property with good loss history can expect 15% to 30%+ rate increases. Accounts with poor loss history may see 30% to 60%+ rate increases.
- Carriers may be looking to increase Wind Deductibles and limit or reduce coverage enhancements.
ANCILLARY (General Liability, Crime, D&O, Umbrella, Excess Liability)
Cyber and privacy issues continue to result in significant litigation, both from a regulatory and class action standpoint. Social inflation has created the most impact and disruption on umbrella and excess liability placements. Concerned with a litigious environment that is favorable to plaintiffs and increasing jury verdicts, carriers are pushing rate increases and tighter underwriting guidelines.
We expect primary and umbrella/excess casualty underwriters to maintain this stance throughout 2021. We are seeing reduced capacity in primary and excess markets. Slip and fall claims combined with high medical costs have served to harden this market, particularly for habitational risks.
- You can expect to liability rate increases between 2.5% and 15%.
- Umbrella/Excess Liability rates continue to firm between 10% to 25%.
Flood insurance has been steadily increasing over the past several years and 2021 is no exception. Flood insurance continues to see rate increases which varies by zone (VE, AE, X, etc.), with the percentage depending on the numerous variable risk characteristics of each property. New flood maps are currently being reviewed and associations will need to pay attention as to how any new map changes might affect their premiums. While the overall map changes maybe anywhere from one to two years away from being adopted, it pays to be aware if these proposed maps will benefit your association or if they might negatively impact rates? If so, there are steps that can be taken to “Grandfather” into current maps, if they are more favorable than the proposed ones. We advise discussing this with your agent as each risk is unique.
OTHER INDUSTRY ISSUES & CONSIDERATIONS
Increased submission volume is allowing underwriters to be more selective. They are focusing on profitability and can be selective in what they underwrite.
Solutions in this Challenging Market
Even amidst challenging market conditions, opportunities still exist. Gulfshore Insurance’s association specialists have been successfully insuring and protecting community and condo associations throughout Florida for more nearly 50 years. Our full arsenal of insurance carriers are well-equipped to manage the changing tide of Florida condominium coverage, and we are 100% committed to identifying the very best available combination of pricing, terms, and conditions for your condominium accounts.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate reach out to your Gulfshore Insurance Client Advisor who can offer assistance. We are here to help.
Gregory Havemeier, CIC, AAI, CIRMS is a Client Advisor and Partner at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in community and condominium associations. Gregory 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
Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in business insurance including liability insurance, property insurance, workers compensation insurance, vehicle insurance, business income interruption insurance, cyber insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are industry specialists for condominium associations, golf and country clubs, oil and petroleum marketers, construction, landscaping, churches and non-profits, and work comp. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your business risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Lido Beach, Longboat Key, Bradenton Beach, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.
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