The Hard Market – The Hardest in Decades

A new white paper by the American Property and Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) is telling most of us what we already know. The hard market we’re currently experiencing is probably the hardest market any of us have ever seen.

In a press release from the APCIA, spokeswoman Karen Collins said historically high inflation and an increasing number of natural catastrophes are driving the hikes.

“The growth of population, housing, and businesses in hazard-prone areas are exacerbating the effects of climate change, leading to more frequent and severe catastrophe losses,” she said. “The higher costs of capital and reduced reinsurance capacity are further exerting upward pressure on insurance rates and may result in stricter underwriting in catastrophe-exposed markets.”

In the white paper, the APCIA pointed out that the 8% inflation rate of 2022 was a 41-year high. It peaked at 9.2% last June.

Adding to the troubles insurers are seeing is an escalating number of claims. Underwriting losses are huge and the combined ratio for P&C insurers averaged 104%.

Claims frequency and the severity of claims losses are responsible for 8 yeas in a row with 10 or more catastrophes exceeding $1 billion. Losses from natural disasters from 2020 to 2022 was over $275 billion.

That is the highest-ever three-year total.

Adding to the hard market troubles are the significantly rising costs of repairs and materials and replacement parts. The producer price index for residential construction goods leaped 33.9% from January of 2020 to December of 2022.

Home furnishing prices in the same time period rose 18.7%.

Collins also noted the choices homeowners and business owners are making is also helping to drive the rising hard market.

“The growth of population, housing, and businesses in hazard-prone areas are exacerbating the effects of climate change, leading to more frequent and severe catastrophe losses,” she said. “The higher costs of capital and reduced reinsurance capacity are further exerting upward pressure on insurance rates and may result in stricter underwriting in catastrophe-exposed markets.”

Source link: Insurance Journal — https://bit.ly/3GiRNSC

About PIA Western Alliance

The Professional Insurance Agents Western Alliance is a membership organization promoting and enhancing the success of independent agencies seeking to grow, learn and be heard within the industry.


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