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What a “Hard Market” Means for Your Insurance Rates

By October 6, 2023Insurance

We are experiencing one of the hardest insurance markets in decades, especially when it comes to personal insurance. High inflation, extreme weather events, labor shortages, and supply chain issues continue to affect the cost of insurance. Last year, the United States experienced eighteen separate weather or climate disasters that each resulted in at least $1 billion dollars in damages. 

As a result, even some of the most well-known insurance companies have temporarily paused the writing of new business in certain states or pulled out entirely. Every company we represent (including Travelers, Central, Cincinnati, Chubb, Auto-Owners, Selective, and more) has tightened their underwriting guidelines. 

This year, we have recommended to many clients not to move their coverage to another company for the coming year. Rates are up across the board. Moving your coverage to another company means you may be subject to inspections and underwriting. In addition, some companies are also using the number of times you move to a different insurance company as a rating factor. 

Here are some of the challenges we find when reviewing coverage options for new and existing clients:

Roof Age
Some companies will no longer write a home if the roof is over eight years old. If your roof is older than 8-10 years, finding coverage with another company could be a challenge.  So if you have an older roof, we recommend you stay where you are for now.

Water Claims
Some companies are no longer accepting new clients with any prior losses or homes with prior losses/claims due to water damage.

Home Updates
Older plumbing is becoming a big issue (Ex.-polybutylene and galvanized plumbing materials) If you have an older home and have not updated your plumbing, roof, HVAC, and electricity in a while, this will affect your cost and coverage options. 

Home Values 
Some companies will no longer write homes valued at less than $500,000.

Monoline Accounts 
Many companies will no longer write home coverage unless they write your auto insurance too.

Trees and Limbs
Some companies are using third party vendors to inspect tree limbs that are hanging over your property (including trees in your neighbor’s yard that are hanging over your property) and using this information to determine your eligibility with this increased risk. 

Golf Carts Affecting Home Coverage
If you have a golf cart with a rear-facing seat, you may be at risk of obtaining insurance coverage due to the high number of accidents and claims on this type of golf cart. These restrictions, in turn, can affect eligibility of homeowner’s and umbrella policies because of the increased liability exposure.

What Can You Do?
There are still ways we can work to control the cost of your coverage. For many clients, we have reviewed and increased deductibles, updated coverage to reflect a new roof or utilities that have been replaced recently, bundled coverage, and set up payments in full or by automatic draft. 

In addition, always call us before you file a claim so we can discuss your options. Make sure you are taking care of maintenance issues on a regular basis, as insurance is not designed to cover wear and tear on your home. 

Other options to consider include:

  • Consider lowering your risk by taking advantage of risk management techniques such as telematics, online courses, enhanced security, etc.
  • Schedule a time to review your current policies with us to ensure you’re not overlooking premium savings opportunities or paying for coverage you don’t need. Also, let us know if you’re planning any changes that may impact your policy. 


What We Are Doing
Our agency continuously monitors changing market conditions and coverage options, and we are here to help you navigate through these tough times. We are reviewing each renewal as it comes in.

We will also:

  • Continue to monitor market conditions, upcoming changes to pricing, and coverage terms and conditions.
  • Evaluate opportunities and resources to help you reduce your risk.
  • Provide you with specialized support related to your specific coverage needs.

We understand the difficulties that accompany premium increases and reduced coverage availability. We’re here to support you in navigating the current market conditions. And most of all, we want to be sure you have the coverage you need should you have an accident and be able to rebuild your home if a disaster occurs.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or would like to discuss your options.