Will Commercial Insurance Rates Rise in 2024? State of the industry overview

In 2024, commercial insurance rates are expected to have a mixed outcome. Some sectors might see price hikes, especially in property and certain casualty areas, while others could remain steady or even decrease. The variations in rates are influenced by factors like catastrophic events, inflation, and specific regional issues. Overall, the year ahead presents a diverse landscape in commercial insurance, with different segments experiencing varying rate trends.

Let’s take a look.

Predictions for 2024’s insurance rates vary across sectors:

Property: Expected to rise between +10% to +25% for CAT-exposed properties and remain flat to +10% for Non-CAT exposed ones.

Domestic Casualty: Forecasts indicate General liability at +1% to +4%, Umbrella (high hazard) at +2% to +5%, Excess staying flat to +4%, Workers Compensation at -3% to -1%, and Auto at +4% to +7%.

International: Expected to remain steady.

Executive Risks: Forecasts vary for Directors’ and Officers’ insurance and others within this category.

Cyber: Predicted to fluctuate between -5% to +5%.

Political Risk: Most risks anticipated to rise between +10% to +70%.

Terrorism and Political Violence: Expected increases range from +5% to +15% for certain territories to +50% or higher for major incidents.

Insurance Market Trends and Technology Innovations

Impact of Hurricane Ian on Retail Insurers

While there’s a trend of price increases stabilizing in commercial lines, Hurricane Ian caused significant price hikes and larger retentions for retail insurers due to reduced capacity among property reinsurers.

Reinsurance Restructuring and Market Dynamics

Insured property losses in 2023 exceeded US$100 billion despite a relatively calm Atlantic hurricane season. Reinsurance treaty retentions are being restructured to potentially ease market conditions in 2024.

Predictions and Considerations for 2024

Casualty treaty reinsurers are considering social inflation and rate adequacy for 2024. The property and casualty industry remains well-capitalized, but economic uncertainties persist.

Advancements in Insurtech: AI and Machine Learning

AI and machine learning are integral in insurtech, improving risk assessment, pricing, fraud detection, and customer service. Insurtechs aim to enhance the customer experience in 2024.

Addressing Cyber Threats and Blockchain Adoption

Rising cyber threats drive increased demand for cyber insurance. Insurtechs use blockchain to counter cyber fraud, aiming for transparency and streamlined processes.

The Rise of Hyper-Personalized Insurance Offerings

Insurance trends lean towards hyper-personalized offerings, relying on data analytics and AI for customization.

Innovative Tech Reshaping Insurance Practices

Cutting-edge tech like IoT and telematics transform auto and home insurance, enabling real-time risk monitoring and behavior-centric models. Predictive analytics are also expanding for more proactive insurance approaches.

The commercial insurance arena in 2024 presents a nuanced landscape with various sectors experiencing divergent trends and challenges. As the industry braces for potential economic uncertainties and evolving market conditions, stakeholders must adapt strategies to navigate the evolving landscape and ensure adequate coverage while managing costs.

Market Conditions in 2024

The insurance market continues its diverse landscape in 2024, marked by various factors impacting different segments:

Commercial Lines Overview: The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers (CIAB) predicts a generally challenging scenario in the commercial lines market, foreseeing an overall increase of around 8.8%. Driven by the socio-economic uncertainties stemming from the pandemic, these conditions were further influenced by inflation. Weak loss experiences and heightened insurance rates have resulted in a pricing rebound in both property and auto sectors.

Rate Trends: In 2023, property rates surged by 20%, while commercial auto rates saw an increase of 8.3%. However, there was a sudden levelling off in rate changes for Directors & Officers (D&O) liability and cyber risks.

Performance Insights: Workers’ compensation has exhibited strong underwriting profits, boasting an average combined loss ratio of 89% over the past five years, according to Fitch Ratings.

Regional Challenges: Specific states like Florida, Texas, and California face unique personal lines coverage issues. Florida grapples with insurance fraud and hurricane impacts, while Texas battles tornadoes and hailstorms, affecting new business coverage. California, dealing with substantial wildfire losses, encounters limited rate increases. Notably, Citizen’s Property Insurance Corp., Florida’s state-sponsored homeowner’s insurer, has significantly expanded its writings, following major legal reforms aimed at facilitating prompt settlement of insurance claims.

California’s Insurance Landscape: Despite the high cost of homes and substantial wildfire losses, homeowner’s insurance in California remains lower than the national average due to rate increase limitations imposed by Proposition 103. However, several insurers have withdrawn or limited their writing activities in the state, citing loss ratios and regulatory complexities. The departure of major insurers like Farmers and State Farm has led to a crisis, leaving people struggling to obtain coverage in certain areas.

How to Get the Best Rates for Commercial Insurance

While overall rates are on the rise, there are strategic steps you can take to secure the most competitive premiums. Here are three key tips to consider:

Assess Your Coverage Needs: Avoid over or under-insuring by evaluating your property’s value, its contents, and determining the necessary coverage amounts. Understanding your requirements helps in choosing the most fitting policy.

Comparison Shop: Similar to other purchases, comparing quotes from different insurance providers can lead to better rates. Take the time to explore various options and find the one that best aligns with your needs and budget.

Bundle Policies: Consider purchasing commercial property insurance as part of a comprehensive business owner’s policy. Bundling coverage can often result in cost savings.

While the average costs for commercial property insurance are increasing due to a blend of economic and environmental factors, proactive measures can assist in securing the most favorable rates given the current market conditions.

Where Can I Find Commercial Insurance in San Diego?

Apex was founded to fill the service and consultative gap left by agency consolidations in the insurance marketplace. These consolidations have left customers who are used to a boutique service approach with no personal connection to their team.

Apex brings the high-touch service proposition back to San Diego businesses and beyond.

At Apex Risk & Insurance Services, we use the Apex Proven Process to learn about your business, strategize to assemble the right program for you, and use our deep industry and market knowledge to leverage the best pricing and coverage. 

This leaves small business owners with more time to do what they do best: Run their business knowing that their company and employees are protected.
Check out our commercial insurance policies, then, read on to learn what makes us different.