Associations across the state are facing the effects of a “hardening insurance market.” The lines of insurance most impacted are standard property coverages such as fire, hurricane, flood and earthquake; Directors’ and Officers’ Liability; and Umbrella/Excess Liability.
While insurance premiums are largely dictated by insurance carriers, associations can take proactive measures to help combat the “hardening insurance market.”
Meet With Your Insurance Agent
Associations can find out what marketing strategy their agent intends to deploy. Associations should discuss with their agent what companies they will solicit quotes from and why; and what alternatives can be evaluated to reduce your premiums (i.e. higher deductibles, elimination of coverage that are “nice to have” versus mandatory).
Review Your Losses
Acceptable loss runs will be the key to get underwriters to quote your account. If you have a poor loss history, associations should be able to demonstrate key processes implemented to reduce troublesome losses. For example, many associations have implemented high-risk safety inspections of the units to help prevent future water damage losses.
Review Insurable Values and Replacement/Construction Costs
Insurance carriers are closely reviewing insured’s building values to ensure buildings are not underinsured. If the values don’t appear to reflect the current replacement costs, carriers may not be receiving adequate premiums for your risk. If possible get a professional appraisal or an estimate from a qualified contractor or other source to justify your values.
Meet With the Insurance Underwriters
It’s easier for an underwriter to increase premiums or decline a risk when they don’t know your association. You know all the best features of your association and can readily answer any questions which will also facilitate the quote process.
Start the Marketing Process Early
With this difficult marketplace, starting 90-120 days before your renewal date is necessary to explore all possible programs that might be available.
Be Prepared For an Inspection by Insurance Carriers
This is like a beauty contest and you certainly want to highlight the best features of your property and minimize your blemishes. However, be sure you honestly disclose any deficiencies when asked.
Consider Upgrading Life Safety Systems
Certain carriers will require certain protection such as smoke detectors in order to insure a risk. Discuss the premium savings if you commit to installing any recommended systems or equipment.
The short term outlook is that the market will continue to tighten and by the end of the year there could be a lack of hurricane capacity for very large accounts needing high limits. This year it will be imperative to be pro-active and work with your insurance agent to take the steps outlined above to minimize potential increases in costs.
Get In Touch
If you would like additional information including resources or have any questions, please contact Brandon Keenan at email@example.com.