State of the Insurance Market

In 2024, staying up to date with trends in the insurance industry is a must for future planning and budgeting.

Property

Property is one of the riskiest areas for insurers right now, and the rates for 2024 reflect that. Drawing from data collected by the National Centers for Environmental Information, BKS Partners reported that “In 2023 (as of September 11), there have been 23 confirmed U.S. weather/climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion.

These include two flooding events, 18 severe storm events, one tropical cyclone event, one wildfire event, and one winter storm event.” They predict catastrophe exposed property rates to increase anywhere from 10% to 25%.

Though you can’t move your district to safer ground, you can use FEMA’s interactive map to see a risk index for your county and risk ratings for each type of natural disaster. FEMA also provides resources on how to reduce your risk, which is especially helpful if you’re in an area that has been or will likely be susceptible to property damage in the future. For more info about this topic, check out our recent article on disaster relief funding for special districts.

General Liability

Inflation, growing medical costs, and an increased number of claims being submitted each year are driving up costs for general liability insurance as well.

According to BKS Partners’ 2023 State of the Market Mid-Year Report, renewals have averaged a 4.6% increase. While they claim the market shows “promising sign that rates are moderating” going forward, you can act now and make your district a more appealing prospect for insurers instead of waiting on the whims of the market.

The National Center for the Middle Market explains that rates are determined by “location, the likelihood of problems, and the average cost of an incident” as well as company history, which they describe as “vitally important.”

Look at your district’s history to determine what your biggest risks are before looking for training and procedures that can be implemented to alleviate those risks. Be sure to keep track what you have budgeted and your future plans; insurers will take note of clients that stand out and will take these into consideration when the time for renewal comes.

If you’re unsure of where to begin, the CSD Pool offers safety consultations that can be used to develop best practices and give you a shot at better general liability rates. The CSD Pool’s Training Credit Program can also be used to earn up to 10% savings on your liability contribution.

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is viewed by insurers as a predictable market, but it has seen more stable rates than other lines . However, a stable history is no excuse to become complacent.

Following mass resignations in 2021, many younger and less experienced workers have since stepped in to take positions held by higher ranking personnel. BKS Partners note that “short-tenured workers are more likely to sustain workplace injuries from lack of experience and training” and that “first-year employees, regardless of age or industry experience, accounted for 34% of all claims.”

And even if your employee base went relatively unscathed from the resignations of 2021, older workers come with their own set of risks. Older workers are less prone to workplace accidents but take longer to recover when they do occur. Additionally, older workers will eventually retire, leaving you with a new crop of younger workers who are more likely to get hurt.

If you employ younger workers or are onboarding, the CSD Pool also offers training for water and wastewater, fire and EMS, and a host of other organizations.

Six Trends Affecting Commercial Insurance:

  • Catastrophic losses:
  • The frequency and severity of these catastrophes have continued to place upward pressure on commercial property costs. According to NOAA, the US saw a record number of billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in 2023, with the total of such events exceeding $57 billion

  • Inflation issues:
  • These issues have been brought on by a combination of fluctuating material demand, supply chain complications, surging prices for various building resources, and rising labor costs across the construction sector.

  • Reinsurance capacity and pricing challenges:
  • The surge in extreme weather events, substantial underwriting losses and prolonged inflation issues have proven especially challenging for the commercial property reinsurance segment to navigate. These rising reinsurance costs are typically passed on to policyholders.

  • Labor shortages:
  • Despite offering higher salaries, contractors have still struggled to find skilled employees, resulting in delays. These challenges result in contruction projects becoming increasingly expensive and taking longer to complete, driving up insurance costs.

  • Property replacement costs:
  • As material and labor challenges persist, rising replacement expenses are likely to follow suit, contributing to elevated insurance costs.

  • Underinsurance concerns:
  • Specifically, businesses that fail to consider inflation and other segment trends could end up with incorrect or outdated property valuations and related coverage limits, leaving them with inadequate protection and significant out-of-pocket expenses fol-lowing various losses.