Because insurance carriers are experiencing higher than expected losses, a hardening insurance market is rearing its ugly head. A hardening market means increased premiums and tighter underwriting requirements for many lines of coverage, including; commercial property, E&O, D&O, Auto and EPL. The 2017 hurricane season and the 2018 California wildfires resulted in a combined insured loss of more than 212 billion dollars and are major contributors in this turn.
One area being hit particularly hard is the adoption & foster care sector. Due to increased litigation, settlements and judgments, some carriers are now reluctant to offer broad coverage with high limits. Some carriers are even exiting these markets all together, making it much harder for some brokers to have access to carriers that are willing to write these risks, let alone even to provide a quote.
In a hardening market, there are three things that can help you ride out the storm:
1. Specialty Broker: Having a broker that specializes in your line of business and knows your unique risks and exposures is imperative in positively representing your best interest to the insurance carriers. Their specialty allows them stronger relationships with underwriters, greater negotiating power to lower premiums and access to more carriers than that of a generalist broker. Remember, an insurance broker (vs. an agent) works for YOU, not the insurance carrier.
2. Risk Management: A clean loss history is always more favorable than a poor loss history. A poor loss history tells the carrier that you are a bad risk. This can result in even higher premiums or worse yet a non-renewal notice. By designing and implementing a strong risk management plan, your broker can paint a positive picture to the insurance carrier and show that you are proactive in helping to eliminate or reduce your risk.
3. Don’t Hop Around: Believe it or not, jumping from carrier to carrier every year looking for the lowest price can cost you more in the long run. Carriers have been known not to quote simply for the fact that the insured is not loyal to any one carrier. Showing stability and loyalty (even if you have a loss and premiums increase) is a positive indicator in the eyes of the carrier.
Even in this hardening market, Hawley & Associates continues to exclusively serve the nonprofit and social service community. Our specialty allows us broad access specialty markets & programs, including programs for hard-to-place risks, such as adoption & foster care. Let our mission empower your mission!