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2024 Commercial Insurance Market Outlook

December 15, 2023

Over the last five years, the commercial insurance sector has been contending with a hard marketplace, thus posing difficult conditions for insurance buyers. These conditions were brought on by a variety of factors that motivated many insurance carriers to reassess their positions in the industry. Specifically, the increased frequency and severity of claims, growing social inflation issues, evolving cyberthreats and worsening natural disasters have contributed to reshaping the market. Consequently, hardened conditions have pressed on for multiple years, prompting most carriers to implement reduced capacity, stringent underwriting standards and rising premiums across several lines of coverage.

Throughout 2023, the commercial insurance space became an increasingly complex environment. Mirroring other areas of the economy, the sector encountered continued volatility within the past year. In some lines of coverage—namely, directors and officers liability (D&O), employment practices liability (EPL) and workers’ compensation—shifting market dynamics, new capacity and optimal underwriting results set the stage for improved conditions, evidenced by decelerated price increases, and, in some cases, rate decreases. On the other hand, headwinds facing other coverage segments, such as commercial property and auto, led to diminished profitability and fueled double-digit rate jumps. Considering these inconsistencies, the commercial insurance landscape will likely remain somewhat challenging in the months ahead, minimizing the likelihood of a soft market arising in the near future.

Furthermore, businesses have had to grapple with a number of new and existing developments over the last 12 months. While 2023 saw the federal government mark the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, pandemic-related trends have still been a driving factor in various workplace adjustments and associated operational difficulties. Additionally, this past year was met with the continuation of supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, economic pressures and inflation struggles for businesses across industry lines. Complicating matters further, certain geopolitical events (e.g., the Russia-Ukraine conflict and Israel-Hamas war), advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and a fluctuating reinsurance market have only exacerbated companies’ commercial exposures. Altogether, these developments have the potential to compound claims and related costs, fostering persistent coverage concerns.

Looking ahead, industry experts anticipate that the commercial insurance sector will still carry challenges in 2024; however, it may present more favorable conditions than it has in previous years for some insurance buyers and in certain lines of coverage. Yet, some coverage segments, including commercial property and auto, will likely remain difficult to navigate. Regardless, it’s essential for businesses to take a proactive approach to bolster their risk management efforts and secure adequate coverage during this time. Amid an evolving risk environment, businesses, with the help of their insurance professionals, should focus on addressing the factors they can control.

In order for businesses to successfully manage the commercial insurance space, it’s important to consult insurance professionals who understand your industry and operations, comprehend the characteristics of the current market cycle, provide necessary tools and targeted risk management solutions to handle challenging conditions, help you plan for the future and advocate on your behalf. Partnering with these professionals will allow them to tell your story to carriers in a way that will effectively position your business come renewal time.

Rest assured, Hylant is here to provide the risk management solutions and coverage expertise your business needs.

Continue Reading: 2024 Commercial Insurance Market Outlook

The above information does not constitute advice. Always contact your insurance broker or trusted advisor for insurance-related questions.

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