Reinsurance rising: What’s happening to your home insurance rates

On January 1, 2024, U.S. property catastrophe reinsurance rates rose by as much as 50%. To the average onlooker, this may seem like unimportant news; in the grand scheme of this, it’s just another of many figures going up. However, the status of reinsurance, and its price points, have a direct influence on the rates you’ll pay for your property insurance. Home insurance is just one example of a product that’s being impacted by the jump in reinsurance costs.

How exactly does reinsurance costs rising impact your home insurance? Let’s dig in.

What is reinsurance?

Suppose insurance is an agreement between the insured and the insurer. In that case, reinsurance is an agreement between an insurance company and another insurance company, wherein the latter agrees to cover the former if the former is obligated to cover a catastrophic loss beyond what their premium pool can pay out for. Reinsurers, aka insurance companies for insurance companies, are companies that sell insurance to your typical P&C or commercial insurance companies.

Insurance companies manage their own risk by buying insurance. If an area an insurance company sells home insurance to experiences a massive wildfire, they may find that their premium pool is insufficient in managing all the claim payouts. In this instance, they’ll turn to their reinsurance provider, whose contract states they’re obligated to cover the remaining losses. Having reinsurance also means that insurance companies need to have less capital on hand, which means they don’t have to charge as high of premiums and can invest excess capital elsewhere. Reinsurance also ensures insurance companies can take on more policies and business, as their risk is less overall.

How does reinsurance impact my insurance?

But, like any business in the insurance industry, reinsurance is impacted by things like climate change and inflation. The more losses there are, the more payouts there are. The more payouts there are, the more reinsurance providers are having to dig into their own pool of funds, thereby requiring more capital. They raise their rates, so insurance companies raise the rates for their insured to offset the increased expense.

The result? Higher insurance premiums. Of course, this is nuanced and the impact depends on where you live. Some areas are more exposed to losses and natural disasters than others. Florida’s reinsurance dependency has increased over the last couple of years due to frequent and severe weather-related losses, inflation, and other effects. This has caused some insurance providers to altogether exit the state, and new, high-risk providers have entered.

What are the benefits of reinsurance for policyholders?

Despite the rate increases, reinsurance isn’t a bad thing for policyholders. Quite the opposite, really. For one, it allows insurance companies to offer business in areas that they might not ordinarily consider due to the decreased risk. You may have found your preferred insurance company due to this reason.

Reinsurance also guarantees you receive your true and fair settlement following a loss, even if your insurance provider’s funds run dry. This risk is sometimes higher for smaller insurance companies. Reinsurance comes in to serve as an additional layer of protection for both yourself and your insurer. Your insurer receives the assistance it needs, and you get the compensation you’re entitled to.

Reinsurance also keeps rates down, in a sense. Because the risk is more spread between your insurance company and the reinsurer, your insurance company needs to keep less capital “on-hand” and therefore doesn’t need to charge more in premiums.

How do we find affordable home insurance amid rate increases?

Assessing your insurance needs during a hard market, like the one the insurance industry is currently faced with, is no easy task. At AHI, our agents are here to help you through these difficult times. When it seems like the cost of everything is on an endless rise, it can be overwhelming to find the right starting point! While raised rates aren’t ideal, we can still help you find a good deal.

Here’s what we might suggest:

Review your insurance needs with an agent

Your insurance needs will change year-over-year. Schedule a review with an agent and go over your insurance needs to see where adjustments may need to be made. Who knows? An agent may even be able to identify eligible discounts or highlight potential coverage gaps and vulnerabilities. They can even help you “trim the fat,” so to speak, and remove excess, unnecessary coverage.

Raise your deductible

Your deductible is your percentage of the risk your insurance company takes on, so you’ll be responsible for it when the time comes to make a claim. Roof damage worth $3,500? If your deductible is $1,000, you’ll be required to pay $1,000 towards the repairs before your insurer covers the remaining $2,500. Raising your deductible can qualify you for lower insurance premiums, but talk with an agent before choosing this option. This isn’t ideal for those who might struggle to pay the new deductible amount.

Shop around with an agent

Maybe your current insurer is no longer the best option for you. Ask an agent to help you shop around and find a better rate. You may be able to find a provider who better suits your needs, or one who offers a deal that you qualify for that overall gives you a better rate than your previous provider.

Ask about discounts

Some insurance companies will discount your home insurance if you bundle it with your auto insurance. Many will discount your auto insurance policy if you have multiple vehicles insured through the same policy. There’s plenty of other discounts out there, too. Claims-free, retiree, green home, and more. Ask your agent what discounts your insurer offers and how to qualify!

An agent is your best resource in hard times. Give us a call at 913-839-1478 or request a quote.

Why should we think of insurance as a last resort?

To some, having insurance only as a last resort can sound a little odd. You’re paying for it, so why shouldn’t you be using it? In today’s struggle for financial security, it can seem like a slap in the face to keep paying for something you won’t end up using unless you need to.

Treating insurance as a universal safety net, even when it isn’t necessary, can lead to excessive premiums and even more money out of your pocket. Let’s dig into that.

What is insurance used for?

Insurance is a financial product that is designed to protect against specific types of risk. Car insurance, for example, is usually designed to protect against physical repair costs, liability claims, and temporary arrangements for a replacement vehicle. By paying your premiums, the insured transfers over their risk of a larger, more uncertain loss to an insurance company. This model works based on the pooling of risk across many policyholders, allowing the insurer to pay out claims from the accumulated premiums.

Insurance limitations

Insurance isn’t a catch-all. Not all insurance policies are considered the most cost-effective method of reducing risk, especially when considering the risk’s magnitude and likelihood. Policies also have exclusions and limits, so not all scenarios are covered.

Another thing to consider is reliance. Insurance creates a dependency culture, where over-reliance can discourage businesses from managing their risks proactively.

Filing too many claims can increase your premiums

The more claims you file, the more you’ll pay for your insurance. Here’s how that works:

Individuals, entities, and households that have made numerous claims are perceived as likelier to make future claims. This is because they’ve created a pattern of dependence on insurance and are statistically likelier to need to file a claim again. Making plenty of small, unnecessary claims is generally not recommended since this causes your insurance to pay out more, and your insurance company, as a way to combat the risk for themselves, may raise your rates.

You might be thinking, “then what’s the point of insurance?” Well, for one, in many situations, it’s required. Two, it’s meant to be used for losses that would otherwise be financially damaging—not the occasional block of hail breaking a window or two in your home. If your car was destroyed in a wreck when someone T-boned you while running a red light, your insurance would come into play.

The homeowner who filed multiple claims for the hail breaking their windows might end up paying hundreds of dollars more for their insurance down the line, which ultimately outweighs what they would have paid had they simply fixed the windows on their own.

What happens if you file too many claims?

Accidents happen. If you need to file a claim, you should file a claim. However, determining when it’s necessary to file a claim is also a good skill to have.

If you’ve experienced a loss, consult with your insurance agent. This doesn’t mean you’re necessarily starting the process of making a claim. Discuss the full implications with your agent, if the claim is necessary, the estimated damage cost, and how your insurance premiums could be impacted in the future. They’ll advise whether it’s worth filing or if you should pursue other options.

If you have a claims-free discount or accident waiver, you’ll lose those upon filing your first claim. Filing frequent claims will continually reset the clock on these discounts, which you’ll generally receive upon having 3+ years of being claims-free. Again, you should rely on your insurance if it’s a significant loss, but if you’re 50/50 on filing a smaller claim, then you may want to think twice about what it will cost you in the long haul.

Filing numerous claims also has the potential to impact your insurability. Since insurers will need to know your insurance history when buying a new policy, all your past claims in the last 3–6 years will be made known. Your insurer may assess your previous claims and decide to alter the terms of your coverage by reducing limits, increasing your deductible, or even excluding types of coverage that you were previously eligible for. This forces you to bear more of the risk yourself. This can also put you in a bad situation if, say, you were required to carry comprehensive and collision insurance per your dealership’s requirements but your insurer will no longer offer it to you as a result of your claims’ history.

Not sure whether to file a claim? Let’s talk

Experienced a loss but are unsure whether to file a claim? Talk with an agent. They should be able to give you the advice you need on whether it’s worth it to file a claim through your insurer, or if it’s better that you handle the damages yourself to avoid a potential premium increase. It’s always good to know you have insurance to fall back on, but knowing when and where to file a claim is key to keeping your premiums low!

Safety tips for April’s upcoming solar eclipse

On April 8th, 2024, in many areas of North America, there will be a solar eclipse. Roughly 31.6 million people live in the path of totality, and according to NASA, every contiguous state in the U.S., in addition to parts of Alaska and Hawaii, will witness anywhere from a partial to a total eclipse.

The eclipse is a wondrous, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you and your family to witness; it serves as a great opportunity to teach your children about outer space! However, witnessing the solar eclipse comes with some caution. Before you step outside and prepare to watch the show, take the following tips into account to make sure you and your loved ones are safe.

Where will the solar eclipse be visible?

The solar eclipse will cross over North America on April 8th, but only some parts will be able to see the eclipse fully. Around the Kansas City Area, it’s said that the moon will cover about 90% of the sun by 2pm. You can check the exact time the eclipse begins and ends on TimeandDate.com.

Solar eclipses can be dangerous for your eyes

Looking at the sun directly is a no-go, but a solar eclipse is a unique event where many people may feel compelled to look directly into the sky without any protection. A true and total solar eclipse only lasts a few seconds! Once the sun returns into view, just staring at it for a few seconds can permanently damage your retina. The retina has no pain receptors and you may not even notice any damage for a few hours. Retinal burns from the sun are called solar retinopathy, and damage can be either temporary or permanent. Symptoms include loss of vision, altered color vision, and distorted vision.

Unfortunately, there is really no treatment to restore lost vision from staring at the sun. Children may be more at risk than adults, as their eyes tend to transmit more light to the retina than adult eyes. As a result, this may mean their eyes are easily damaged by intense light (like that from a solar eclipse).

Here are our main tips for witnessing a near-total solar eclipse:

  • Be sure to wear special glasses or research ways to witness the eclipse without looking directly at it. NASA has some great tips on their website for homemade eclipse-viewing theatres. Going the homemade route can be a great way to entertain the kids, too.
  • Before heading outside, apply sunscreen with high SPF. If you plan to stay out for a while, make sure to reapply it every few hours.
  • Consider wearing a hat that conceals your ears, face, head, and neck. Wide-brimmed hats do the job best, and a visor is fine for an overcast day.
  • Bring plenty of water to sip on while you watch the show. Again, if you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors during eclipse time, practice proper outdoor safety etiquette and wear protective clothing or seek shade where possible.

Methods to view an eclipse

There are ways to look at the solar eclipse indirectly. You can, of course, watch livestreams online or on TV. You can also try any of the following:

Eclipse sunglasses

You can purchase eclipse sunglasses online. Make sure that eclipse sunglasses are fitted properly, used correctly, in decent condition, and free of any defects. Make sure to put them on before you look towards the eclipse, and turn away before you take them off. Always closely supervise any children using these types of glasses.

It’s also a good idea not to use eclipse sunglasses in combination with other lenses, such cameras, telescopes, binoculars, etc., as these will create more light intensity that the glasses aren’t equipped to handle.

Pinhole projections

You can create a pinhole protection through which to see the solar eclipse. Use a small piece of paper or a card with a single ~1mm diameter hole in its center to create a shadow on an additional screen or card about ~1m away. Make sure to not view the eclipse directly using this method and face away, only observing the event as the image is projected onto the screen/card.

With any method, children are always most at risk, so ensure that they are closely supervised. If you’re unsure if your child is willing to follow instructions or might be unable to use any outdoor viewing methods, consider watching a live stream online or on a TV.

Why do insurance companies take so long to settle claims?

In the face of an unexpected disaster, it’s good to know you have insurance. Say you got into a fender-bender at the grocery store and now you’re having to submit a claim to your insurance company. Big deal, right? We pay premiums for times like these.

Unfortunately, it’s not so cut and dry. Before you receive your settlement, your insurance company may need to conduct a thorough investigation into the accident to determine your percentage of fault and potential liability. Other factors can contribute to a longer wait time for claim payouts. Here’s why.

The insurance claims process, step-by-step

The process of filing an insurance claim can be pretty complicated by itself. There are several steps, but it all begins with getting in touch with your insurance company (or agent) and letting them know about the accident. Policyholders living in no-fault insurance states will always be in contact with their own insurance company, but policyholders in tort (at-fault) states may need to contact the responsible party’s insurance company to file a claim for their injuries or damages.

First contact

The claims process begins as soon as you get in touch with your insurance company, agent (and have them notify your insurer), or in at-fault states, the responsible party’s insurer. This step acts as the first notice of loss, where you inform your/the insurer of your intention to file a claim.

Claim investigation

The grunt work begins. Insurance companies will sent out their individual agents to investigate the accident and fully determine liability. At this point, providing as much information about the incident as possible is critical. Dashcam footage, images, witness statements, receipts, and any other evidence you can conjure is absolutely critical and can expedite the process. The process proceeds when a claim is deemed valid and liability is more or less determined.

Policy review

At this stage, coverage is evaluated to see if each claimant has applicable insurance and which coverage the claim falls under. If coverage exists and can be identified, the claim can proceed. Policies can be complex, however, so reviewing policies can take time.

Damage evaluation

Adjusters and appraisers will need to analyze the extent of the damages done to either your property or vehicle (whichever you’re making a claim for). In extreme cases with auto claims, this can involve a teardown of the vehicle to investigate internal damages. If the claim is for an injury, numerous medical experts may be involved. Either way, this process can take some time.

Arrangement of payment

Once damages have been fully evaluated, you may begin to have your payment arranged. Payment can come from a few different places, so while this step sounds fairly straightforward, it can also take a fair bit of time to process.

If your insurer disputes the claim, this can delay the process of receiving your settlement even more. You may need to hire a lawyer to provide additional proof or go back and forth with your agent (who will advocate for you during this time).

Insurance claims can be complicated, especially if there is more than one party involved

Filing a claim for a rollover or collision with a highway barrier is pretty straightforward, but things get messier every time there’s an additional party. If you’re the only person involved in the claim, it’s easier to investigate than if there are multiple parties.

With multiple parties, insurance companies need to determine liability or may even need to handle multiple claims at once. This can extend the process even more. But other factors are at play as well, which may be increasing the time it takes to receive your settlement without you even knowing.

There’s a lack of labor in the insurance industry

Appraisers, adjusters, and claims investigators are far and few right now in the insurance industry, making the overall process for claims all the more difficult. It can take longer for these workers to make it out to investigate damaged property and even longer for them to come to a final decision.

According to Insurance Business Magazine, the insurance industry is estimated to lose around 400,000 workers by 2026. This is in part as a result of a huge percentage of workers nearing retirement age, but the labor shortage could also be yet another impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Insurance fraud calls for more thorough investigations

The more insurance fraud there is, the more insurance companies will need to strengthen their resolve to catch potential fraudsters. So, even if you’re not intending to commit fraud or have committed in the past, your insurance company may likely want to perform a thorough investigation of your accident to ensure all their bases are covered. This isn’t because they don’t trust you in particular – it’s just become procedure as a result of rising fraud incidents.

Unfortunately for all the honest policyholders, this means that claims can take longer, even if they’ve been a trusted policyholder and always paid their premiums on time. It can seem like you’re getting the short end of the stick despite always doing your part, but it’s unfortunately the price we’re all having to pay.

The insurance claims process can be a confusing time, and it can be especially difficult if you feel like your claim is taking a long time, but until there are major shifts in the insurance industry, this may be the way it is for some time. Claims take, on average, between 30-45 days to settle completely, barring extreme circumstances. If you’re unsure about what next steps to take when processing your claim or want the advocacy of your agent, give us a call.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Students at College?

It’s that time of year again. Summer’s behind us and the leaves are turning red, yellow, and brown. Whether this is your child’s first time away at college or going into their second, third, or even fourth year, keeping your child’s school possessions, such as their laptop or bike, safe should be a priority. You might be wondering what kind of insurance will cover them, whether that’s a policy that needs to be acquired separately or if they’ll have coverage under your existing home policy like they would have when they were still living at home. AHI Group is happy to keep parents and students informed as we begin transitioning back into school. For many, this can be an exciting, stressful, or even overwhelming time – so we’d like to take at least one worry off your shoulders. The short answer is: yes, your homeowners insurance will provide some coverage for your college student’s belongings, but conditions can apply.

If Your Child is Living in a Dorm…

Then coverage will typically apply. For example, say your child’s bike was stolen. In this case, and assuming your student is living on campus in a resident dorm, your home insurance may cover the costs to repair or replace the bike. Your home insurance might also apply if your child accidentally injured someone or caused damage to campus property (although it would be your personal liability coverage that would kick in, not your contents coverage).

Depending on the insurer, however, coverage can vary and be limited. You’ll need to discuss your child’s situation with your insurer to confirm that they will have coverage. Oftentimes, the insurer will require the child to be under a certain age and live in a campus dorm. They may also limit how much they will pay out for property damage/theft that occurs while your child is living away from your home.

How Does Home Insurance Cover a College Student Living on Campus?

As long as your child meets your insurer’s qualifications, they can have coverage under their parent’s home insurance policy. In this case, two aspects of your home insurance (as the parent) will apply in the event something happens: your contents coverage and your personal liability coverage.

  • Your personal property coverage may help your child cover the costs of repairing or replacing any of their belongings if they’re stolen or damaged (although the damage would have to be due to a covered peril, like weather or fire.)
  • Your personal liability coverage may help cover your child if they are legally responsible, or liable, for damages to property or someone else’s injuries. This coverage can pay out for damages, including property repair, medical bills, and legal defence.

In the event, that your child’s dorm is broken into and their laptop is stolen, or they’re held responsible for damaging campus property accidentally, you could file a claim with your insurance company, who could then reimburse you for the stolen laptop or pay for the damage costs. Your child should keep an inventory with receipts or other documentation of their belongings to expedite the claims process and ensure a quick and fair settlement.

You would also still be responsible for paying out your home insurance deductible in the event of a claim, specifically when you’re filing a claim under the contents portion of your coverage. Common policy deductibles range between $500 to $1,500, so if the amount lost is anything less than this, your claim would likely end up being denied. 

When Would a Child Not Be Covered?

Certain insurers may not insure your student away from home while attending college if they:

  • Don’t live on campus/college-sanctioned housing
  • Are older than a specific age (usually 25)
  • Are not a full-time student attending the college

If your child lives in a separate apartment or building off-campus, then they would likely need their own tenant’s insurance policy to cover their belongings. 

When Does My Child Need Renter’s Insurance?

College students may be deemed ineligible for coverage under the parent’s homeowner’s policy if they are living off-campus, or sometimes if they’re not a full-time student or above a certain age. They may, at this point, need their own renter’s insurance. Renter’s insurance is a limited form of home insurance that covers the tenant’s liability and belongings. Usually, the building that the renter is living in will be covered by the landlord who owns the property (hence why the tenant’s insurance doesn’t include a dwelling component, as the building isn’t owned by them.) 

Renter’s insurance is one of the cheapest insurance policies on the market, costing as little as $10/month with relatively low deductibles. Certain companies will also offer dorm insurance, which is very similar to renter insurance but a little more tailor-made for those living in dorms and not apartments. 

Plus, if your child has a car, they can qualify for a multiline policy discount by bundling their renter’s insurance with their auto policy! Most, if not all insurers offer bundle discounts for renter’s insurance.

Discuss with an AHI representative today if you’re sending off a child to school and you’re concerned about coverage for their possessions. We’re happy to discuss existing coverage and to explore the possibility of a separate renter policy for your child.

The Importance of Regular Policy Reviews

When you purchase insurance, the last thing you probably want to do is read through every single detail of your coverage and scour every piece of fine print. Insurance policies are one of those things too many people are guilty of simply acquiring, and then putting away in a safe filing cabinet (or digitalized document) and then forgetting about. But when the insurance market is during a phenomenon known as a hard market, characterized by rising insurance rates, it’s more crucial than ever to know what you’re covered for – and know where you may need to make some changes to ensure you are properly insured. Insurance needs are always changing, whether you’re a household or a business. As such, your insurance coverage should change with it – but that’s not possible unless you’re doing regular reviews.

Even without the current hard market conditions, doing regular policy reviews, at least once per year, can help you better understand your coverage, identify potential gaps, maintain appropriate coverage levels, and even keep your premiums competitive. AHI is happy to schedule a complimentary policy review with you, to go over your coverage and discuss your needs with an expert eye. Read on to see more about the importance of policy reviews and why you should schedule one with us today.

The Policy Review Process, Broken Down

In steps, the policy review process may seem arduous, but it’s not all that long of a procedure and can ultimately help you to save big on your insurance. Here’s what it looks like when you schedule a complimentary policy review with AHI Group:

Step 1: Information Gathering

Upon scheduling the policy review, the policyholder provides AHI Group with relevant information, such as existing insurance policies, coverage details, and any specific concerns or changes in their circumstances. Changes may include life events like the remodelling of kitchens, a new baby, a change in the primary driver, new usage of a vehicle or new commute, mergers, acquisitions, and so on.

Step 2: Assigned Account Manager

Your assigned agent will be your point of contact throughout the entire policy review process. If you have any questions during this period, you will be directed to them.

Step 3: Policy Documentation Collection

The policyholder – you – submits all relevant policy documents to AHI Group. These may include insurance contracts, endorsements, policy schedules, and any other related materials.

Step 4: Risk Assessment and Analysis

AHI Group’s team of experts conducts a comprehensive risk assessment of the policyholder’s current coverage. They analyze the policy’s terms, limits, exclusions, and endorsements to understand the level of protection it offers.

Step 5: Consultation and Discussion

The account manager schedules a consultation with the policyholder to discuss the findings of the risk assessment. They seek further insights into the policyholder’s insurance needs, future plans, and any changes in their risk exposure.

Step 6: Identifying Coverage Gaps

Based on the risk assessment and the client consultation, AHI Group identifies any gaps or overlaps in the existing coverage. They compare the policyholder’s needs with their current policy to pinpoint areas that require adjustments.

Step 7: Customized Recommendations

AHI Group formulates a personalized set of insurance recommendations tailored to the policyholder’s unique requirements. This may include additional coverage options or changes to existing policies to better address identified risks.

Step 8: Presentation of Policy Review Report

The account manager presents a detailed policy review report to the policyholder. This report outlines the current coverage, the identified gaps and overlaps, and the recommended adjustments.

Step 9: Q&A and Clarifications

The policyholder can ask questions and seek clarifications about the policy review report and the recommended changes. AHI Group ensures that the policyholder fully understands the proposed modifications.

Step 10: Adjustments and Policy Updates

If the policyholder agrees with the recommendations, AHI Group proceeds to implement the required adjustments to their insurance policies. This may involve negotiating with insurance carriers to secure the best possible terms.

Step 11: Follow-Up and Ongoing Support

AHI Group provides ongoing support and assistance to the policyholder after the policy review process is complete. They remain available to address any further inquiries or changes in the policyholder’s insurance needs.

Why Schedule a Policy Review with AHI Group?

Policy reviews are of paramount importance in the insurance industry as they serve as a vital safeguard for policyholders’ financial well-being and risk management. Insurance needs can evolve over time due to changes in business operations, personal circumstances, or regulatory requirements. A comprehensive policy review ensures that coverage aligns with these changes and remains adequate to protect against potential risks. By conducting a thorough assessment, policy reviews help identify coverage gaps, overlaps, and potential exposures that may have arisen since the policy’s inception. This proactive approach empowers policyholders to make informed decisions about their insurance coverage, providing the opportunity to update policies, secure additional endorsements, or explore alternative risk management strategies. Ultimately, policy reviews not only optimize insurance protection but also foster long-term relationships between policyholders and their insurance providers, creating a stronger sense of trust and assurance in times of unforeseen events.

Don’t leave your insurance coverage to chance! Secure your financial future with a complimentary policy review from AHI Group today. Gain peace of mind knowing your insurance aligns with your evolving needs and risk exposure. Schedule your review now and take charge of your protection. Contact us today!

Contact Us Today

Why Are My Insurance Quotes So High? – Navigating Rising Premiums in a Hard Market

As policyholders, we have all experienced the impact of fluctuating insurance markets at some point. Lately, you may have noticed a shift in your insurance premiums—an unwelcome upward trend that has caught your attention. Welcome to the challenging landscape of a hard market.

We plan to explore the ins and outs of rising insurance premiums during a hard market in this blog post. We understand that, as a responsible policyholder, you want and need to make the most informed decisions while also ensuring the safeguarding of your livelihood and assets. Let’s get into the factors behind rising insurance premiums, plan strategies to mitigate the impact, and provide insights on how to maintain optimal coverage without breaking the bank.

Why Insurance Premiums Rise During a Hard Market

During a hard market, insurance premiums tend to rise due to several factors that create a challenging environment for insurance providers. Understanding these factors can help policyholders make sense of the increasing costs. As such, here are the three main reasons why insurance premiums may rise during a hard insurance market:

Increased Claims and Losses. Hard markets often coincide with an uptick in claims and losses across the insurance industry. This can be attributed to various factors such as natural disasters, economic downturns, or an increase in fraudulent activities. When insurers face a higher volume of claims and payouts, they need to adjust their premiums to maintain financial stability and ensure they can continue to provide coverage to policyholders.

Investment Returns and Profitability. Insurance companies generate a significant portion of their revenue through investment returns on their premiums. However, during a hard market, insurers may experience lower investment returns due to economic uncertainties or market volatility. This reduction in investment income can impact the profitability of insurance companies, leading them to adjust premiums to maintain financial stability and ensure they can meet their policyholder obligations.

Reduced Capacity and Competition. In a hard market, insurers may face limitations in their capacity to underwrite risks or may become more selective in the types of risks they are willing to cover. This reduced capacity is often driven by a combination of factors such as regulatory changes, changes in reinsurance availability, or financial pressures within the insurance industry. With fewer insurers competing for business, the limited options can result in higher premiums as insurers seek to manage their risk exposure.

Tips for Rising Premiums & How to Mitigate Their Impact

Facing rising insurance premiums during a hard market can be challenging for policyholders. However, there are means to help you combat the premium spikes and mitigate their impact on your finances. To navigate the hard market better, consider the following tips:

  • Mitigate Risks and Enhance Safety Measures: Insurance premiums are influenced by the level of risk associated with your property or business. By implementing risk management strategies and improving safety measures, you can potentially reduce the likelihood of accidents or losses. This, in turn, may lead to lower premiums. Consult with your insurance provider or risk management professionals to identify areas where you can enhance safety protocols.
  • Bundle Policies and Seek Discounts: Many insurers offer discounts when you bundle multiple policies, such as home and auto insurance, with the same provider. Consolidating your insurance needs with a single insurer can lead to cost savings. Additionally, inquire about available discounts, such as loyalty discounts, good driving records, or installing security devices, as these can help reduce your premiums.
  • Increase Deductibles: Consider adjusting your deductible—the amount you pay out of pocket before insurance coverage kicks in. Opting for a higher deductible can lead to lower premiums. However, ensure that you have sufficient funds to cover the deductible in case of a claim.
  • Work with an Independent Insurance Agent: Insurance agents have access to multiple insurance companies and can help you find the best coverage options at competitive prices. They can analyze your needs, compare policies, and negotiate on your behalf to secure the most favorable rates. We at Auto Home are happy to help.
  • Regularly Review Coverage Needs: As your circumstances change, it’s essential to review your coverage needs periodically. You may find that certain coverages are no longer necessary or that you require additional protections. By aligning your coverage with your current needs, you can avoid overpaying for unnecessary coverage. Ask an agent to do this with you.
  • Review and Compare Policies: Take the time to review your existing insurance policies and shop around for alternative options. Do this with the help of an agent – who has the expertise to get you what you need.

Reviewing Your Policy with Auto Home Insurance Group

We understand that navigating rising insurance premiums in a hard market can be daunting. However, by staying informed and taking proactive steps, you can effectively combat the premium spikes and make informed decisions about your coverage. At AutoHome Insurance Group, we are committed to providing you with comprehensive coverage and stability during these challenging market conditions.

One of the best things you can do for your insurance at this point-in-time is to do a review with an agent. Due to their expertise, an agent is capable of giving you in-depth feedback, advice on how to combat the rate rise based on your personal circumstances and may advise where your policy needs adjustments based on your insurance needs.

We want to give you nothing less than the best service. Give us a call today to schedule a policy review with your trusted insurance agent.

Contact Us Today

Assessing Insurance Needs in a Hard Market

In a challenging hard insurance market, assessing your insurance needs becomes crucial to navigate the shifting landscape effectively. At Auto Home Insurance, we understand the impact of rising premiums and changing market conditions on policyholders. In this blog, we plan to explore the importance of evaluating your insurance coverage, identifying potential gaps, and offering valuable insights on scheduling a policy review with our experienced agents. Discover how you can optimize your protection and find cost-saving opportunities during this demanding period.

A Brief Overview of the Hard Insurance Market

We’ve touched on the topic of what a hard market is before, and so for brevity’s sake, we’ll give a quick overview of the definition of an insurance hard market.

Essentially, the insurance industry operates in cycles. During a hard market, policyholders experience increased premiums and limited coverage options. It occurs when insurance companies face higher claim costs, reduced capacity, and a more risk-averse approach. Factors such as natural disasters, economic fluctuations, and regulatory changes contribute to this challenging market phase. In a hard market, insurers become more selective in underwriting policies, leading to higher prices for customers. Understanding the dynamics of a hard market helps policyholders navigate its impact, make informed decisions about coverage, and seek opportunities for cost management.

Assessing Your Insurance Coverage

During a hard market, the most important thing a policyholder can do is assess their insurance coverage thoroughly.

As market conditions evolve, your insurance needs may change as well. Begin by reviewing your existing policies and understanding the scope of coverage they provide. Consider the specific risks and challenges your personal or business circumstances face in the current market environment. Evaluate whether your coverage adequately protects against these risks or if adjustments are necessary. Look for potential gaps or overlaps in coverage that could leave you exposed to unforeseen losses. By conducting a comprehensive assessment of your insurance coverage, you can ensure it aligns with your current needs and provides the necessary level of protection during a hard market.

We highly recommend scheduling a policy review with your agent at Auto Home Insurance Group. Give us a call today or send us an email at your earliest convenience.

Contact Us Today

Identifying Potential Coverage Gaps

In a hard market, identifying and addressing potential coverage gaps becomes paramount to safeguarding your financial well-being. As market conditions change, new risks may emerge, and existing coverage may no longer provide adequate protection. Take the time to carefully evaluate your policies and consider any recent changes in your personal circumstances or business operations. Are there any gaps in your coverage that could leave you vulnerable in the event of a claim? Are there emerging risks that your current policies do not adequately address?

To identify potential coverage gaps, review the specific terms, limits, and exclusions of your insurance policies. Assess whether they align with your current needs and provide sufficient protection for your assets, liabilities, and unique risks. Consider engaging with an experienced insurance professional who can offer expert guidance in identifying and addressing these gaps. They can help you understand the intricacies of your policies and ensure that you have the right coverage in place to mitigate potential financial risks.

Remember, proactive measures to identify and address coverage gaps can help you avoid surprises and minimize the impact of unexpected events. By being diligent in your assessment, you can make informed decisions and ensure your coverage remains robust and responsive to the evolving market landscape.

The Steps to Scheduling a Review

Scheduling a policy review with Auto Home Insurance is a straightforward process. Take the following steps to initiate the review:

  1. Contact Us: Reach out to our dedicated team by phone or email to express your interest in scheduling a policy review. We are here to assist you and answer any initial questions you may have.
  2. Consultation: A member of our experienced agency team will arrange a consultation at a time convenient for you. During this consultation, we will gather relevant information about your insurance coverage, understand your unique needs, and discuss the objectives of the policy review.
  3. Policy Analysis: Our agents will conduct a thorough analysis of your existing policies, examining the terms, coverage limits, and exclusions. They will assess whether your current coverage adequately addresses your risks and identify any areas for improvement.
  4. Recommendations: Based on the analysis, our agents will provide personalized recommendations tailored to your specific needs. They will guide you through available options, discuss potential cost-saving strategies, and help you make informed decisions about your coverage.
  5. Implementation: Once you have reviewed and approved the recommended changes, our agents will assist you in implementing the revised coverage. They will handle all necessary paperwork, ensuring a smooth transition and providing ongoing support.

Scheduling a policy review with Auto Home Insurance empowers you to navigate the hard market with confidence, knowing that your coverage is optimized and aligned with your evolving needs. Contact us today to secure your policy review and experience the value of our expertise firsthand.

The Value of a Policy Review

Amidst a challenging hard market, the value of a policy review cannot be overstated. Scheduling a policy review with Auto Home Insurance provides you with a personalized and comprehensive assessment of your coverage.

Our experienced agents have an in-depth understanding of the hard market landscape and can identify potential gaps or inefficiencies in your current policies. By conducting a thorough review, they can tailor your coverage to align with your evolving needs, ensuring you have adequate protection while optimizing costs. With their expertise and industry knowledge, our agents will guide you through the complexities of the hard market, empowering you to make informed decisions about your insurance coverage. Give us a call today to begin your policy review.

Give Us A Call

How to Survive an Insurance Hard Market in 2023: A Cost-Savings Guide for Policyholders

During difficult times, AHI Group is happy to be your insurance resource, helping you navigate the ever-complex world of insurance while protecting your assets. In 2023, with current hard market conditions, we want to provide you with the necessary resources you need to mitigate the impact of insurance increases as much as possible.

We understand that these current changes can significantly impact your financial well-being. That’s why we have prepared this comprehensive cost-saving guide to help you navigate through the hard market and find ways to manage the rising costs. By implementing the strategies outlined in this guide, you can safeguard your coverage while mitigating the financial burden. Let’s explore valuable insights and practical tips to ensure you survive and thrive during this challenging period.

Understanding the Insurance Hard Market

The insurance hard market is a term used to describe a period of increased premiums, stricter underwriting guidelines, and limited coverage options. It is driven by various factors such as increased claim costs, reduced insurer capacity, and changes in the overall economic landscape. During a hard market, insurance carriers become more selective and cautious in their underwriting practices, leading to higher prices for policyholders.

By understanding the dynamics of the insurance hard market, you can better comprehend why premiums are increasing and the challenges it presents. This awareness empowers you to make informed decisions about your insurance coverage, explore cost-saving opportunities, and proactively manage your risk. The first step to understanding how to mitigate the impacts of an insurance hard market is to assess your current insurance needs:

Survival Tip 1: Assessing Your Current Insurance Needs

Assessing your insurance needs is a crucial step in navigating the insurance hard market. It involves evaluating your existing coverage to ensure it aligns with your evolving circumstances and provides adequate protection. During a hard market, it becomes even more important to review your policies carefully.

Commercial and personal clients are both impacted similarly by hard insurance market conditions, but there are some key differences to note. We’ll explore how commercial and personal are both impacted by the hard insurance market:

Commercial

Businesses are all about reducing expenses and increasing revenue. When back-end costs, such as utility bills, material costs, labor costs, and insurance premiums rise, it becomes more difficult for businesses to boost their bottom line. With insurance costs on the rise, businesses are considering riskier moves, such as dropping coverage to slash costs.

Unfortunately, this can be detrimental to any size business. If a loss occurs, and your business is underinsured (or even uninsured), then that loss would fall entirely on you. For smaller businesses, this could result in permanent closure. We recommend businesses review their policies with the help of an agent and consider cost-savings efforts to reduce their premiums without dropping coverage.

Personal

Auto and home insurance policyholders may be getting the worst of the current hard market impacts. Car insurance premiums have been on a steady rise due to external global factors like rising building costs, car thefts, rising collisions, higher claim payouts, and more.

Home insurance costs have been increasing similarly. Home insurance costs are impacted by rising labor costs, rising material costs, high housing demand, increased cost of payouts, global weather disasters, and more.

For many individuals and families, the extra costs can be detrimental. We’re already seeing price increases all over the board, with grocery prices and fuel prices increasing. It can be difficult to know where to start to begin saving money. As with commercial clients, we recommend personal clients review with their agent and consider cost-saving efforts to drop premiums without cutting coverage.

Survival Tip 2: Cost-Savings for Personal and Commercial

Cost-savings to negate the impacts of the hard insurance market looks similar for both commercial and personal clients, with some minor differences.

To reduce costs, commercial clients and business owners may consider implementing the following:

  • Risk Management Evaluation: Conduct a comprehensive risk assessment to identify potential hazards and implement proactive risk management measures. This can help minimize the likelihood of claims and potentially reduce premiums.
  • Deductible Adjustment: Consider adjusting your deductibles to align with your risk tolerance. Increasing deductibles can lead to lower premiums, but ensure you have sufficient funds available in case of a claim.
  • Loss Control Measures: Implement loss control strategies, such as improving workplace safety protocols, providing employee training, and maintaining proper maintenance practices. This can help reduce the frequency and severity of claims, potentially leading to lower premiums.
  • Policy Endorsements Review: Regularly review your policy endorsements to ensure they accurately reflect your business’s operations and risks. Removing unnecessary endorsements or updating coverage limits can help optimize your coverage and prevent overpaying for unnecessary protection. As always, enlist an agent to help you with this to avoid accidentally slashing necessary coverage.
  • Bundling Insurance Policies: Consolidate your commercial insurance policies with a single insurer to potentially qualify for multi-policy discounts. Bundling can lead to cost savings and streamline policy management.

Personal insurance clients, on the other hand, may reap the advantages of the following strategies:

  • Increase Deductibles: Consider raising the deductibles on your policies, such as auto or home insurance. This can result in lower premiums while still maintaining essential coverage.
  • Review Coverage Limits: Assess your coverage limits to ensure they align with your current needs. Adjusting coverage limits can help find a balance between adequate protection and affordability.
  • Explore Discounts: Inquire about available discounts with your insurance provider. These may include bundling policies, installing security systems, maintaining a good driving record, or being part of certain professional associations.
  • Comparison Shop: Obtain quotes from multiple insurance providers to compare prices and coverage options. Getting a quote through a provider like AHI Group is an easy way to do this.
  • Policy Review: Regularly review your policies with your insurance agent. This ensures that you have the right coverage and eliminates any redundant or unnecessary policies, avoiding extra costs.

Note, the suitability of these strategies may vary depending on your unique circumstances and coverage requirements. Consult with your insurance agent at AHI Group to determine the most appropriate cost-saving strategies for your specific situation.

Survival Tip 3: Seek Professional Guidance

Navigating the intricacies of the insurance hard market can be challenging, which is why seeking professional guidance is highly recommended. An insurance advisor or agent can provide invaluable expertise and personalized assistance to help you make informed decisions.

 We at AHI Group have in-depth industry knowledge, access to multiple insurance markets, and can tailor coverage based on your individual business or household needs. We can also conduct regular policy reviews on your behalf to ensure your coverage remains adequate and up to date. We’re also happy to identify any changes in your circumstances that may necessitate adjustments.

Conclusion: Stay Informed and Adapt

Staying informed about the insurance industry and adapting to changing market conditions is crucial during a hard insurance market. Staying updated on industry news, market trends, and reviewing your policy regularly are some of the best ways to adapt to current conditions. By staying informed and adapting to the evolving insurance landscape, you can position yourself to make informed decisions, secure appropriate coverage, and effectively manage costs in a hard market environment.

At AHI Group, we are more than happy to discuss your insurance needs and the current hard market conditions with you today. We understand that saving costs in today’s cost-of-living crisis is critical, and we want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your policy. Call us today or get a free quote.

World Lung Cancer Day: Raising Awareness, Why it Matters, & How it Affects Your Insurance Costs

As an insurance agency that deals in the selling of life insurance, but also harbors a strong commitment to protecting families, we understand the profound impact that health-related issues can have on both individuals and their loved ones. One such concern that demands our unwavering attention is lung cancer – a formidable adversary that continues to affect millions of lives worldwide. In honor of World Lung Cancer Day, we aim to shed light on this pressing matter, delving into why raising awareness is crucial, the far-reaching implications it holds, and its significant influence on insurance costs.

In this blog, we will explore the reasons behind the correlation between lung cancer and insurance costs, as well as the steps individuals can take to secure their financial future in the face of such challenges. Moreover, we will emphasize the significance of proactive measures in reducing the risk of lung cancer, fostering a healthier society, and potentially mitigating insurance-related concerns.

At AHI Group, we believe that empowering individuals with knowledge and awareness is an integral part of our commitment to safeguarding their well-being and financial security. By delving into the realms of lung cancer, its impact on insurance, and the importance of collective awareness, we hope to pave the way for informed decisions, improved support systems, and, ultimately, a brighter, healthier future.

August 1st is World Lung Cancer Day

The “C” word is devastating for any individual, young or old. Each year, on August 1st, the world recognizes World Lung Cancer Day, a day created to raise awareness for a cancer that claims more lives per year than colon, prostate, and breast cancer combined. Lung cancer is extremely prevalent among the older generation, but we’re starting to see cases now emerge among younger individuals as well.

World Lung Cancer Day holds immense significance as it serves as a powerful platform to raise awareness about lung cancer, its risk factors, prevention strategies, and the dire need for early detection. This global observance brings together individuals, healthcare professionals, advocacy groups, and insurance agencies alike to unite in a common cause: combating the devastating impact of lung cancer on communities worldwide. By shedding light on this critical health issue, World Lung Cancer Day not only emphasizes the importance of fostering a greater understanding of the disease but also highlights the urgent necessity for robust support systems, improved access to healthcare, and enhanced research initiatives. Through collective efforts on this day and beyond, we can strive to reduce the burden of lung cancer, improve patient outcomes, and create a world where prevention, early intervention, and comprehensive insurance coverage play pivotal roles in safeguarding the well-being of individuals and their loved ones.

Insurance and Lung Cancer: Understanding the Impact of Smoking on Life and Home Insurance Costs

Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide, with smoking being the primary risk factor associated with this deadly disease. As an insurance agency, we cannot stress enough the critical link between smoking and the costs of life and home insurance. Understanding this relationship is vital for individuals seeking coverage, as well as for insurance providers determining policy terms and premiums.

When it comes to life insurance, smoking is a significant determinant in assessing an applicant’s risk profile. Smokers are exposed to a considerably higher risk of developing lung cancer, as well as other health issues such as heart disease and respiratory ailments. Consequently, insurance providers view smoking as a red flag, which can lead to higher premiums for smokers compared to non-smokers.

Similarly, the impact of smoking extends to home insurance costs as well. Home insurance covers various risks, including fire hazards, which can be heightened in households with smokers. Smoking indoors raises the likelihood of accidental fires, and insurance companies recognize this added risk. As a result, homes with smokers may be subjected to higher home insurance premiums to account for the elevated potential of fire-related incidents.

The critical importance of World Lung Cancer Day is critical importance for policyholders (both for life and home) who smoke. By understanding the profound impact that smoking has on insurance costs, individuals can be motivated to adopt healthier lifestyles and potentially reduce the financial burden of insurance premiums.

AHI Group: Helping You Save Money on Your Insurance This World Lung Cancer Day

World Lung Cancer Day serves as a poignant reminder of the far-reaching impact of lung cancer on individuals, families, and the insurance industry. As an insurance agency, we understand the significant implications that smoking and lung cancer have on life and home insurance costs. By raising awareness about the link between smoking and increased health risks, we hope to inspire individuals to take charge of their well-being and make informed decisions that can potentially lead to lower insurance premiums and comprehensive coverage.

In addition to understanding the impact that lung cancer has had on our loved ones, whether in our immediate family, our friends, or personally experienced, we can see how making healthier efforts – such as quitting smoking, eating healthier, and exercising – can not only secure a brighter future for ourselves and our loved ones but can even help us reduce some of our insurance costs. Give us a call at AHI Group to discuss more about reducing your insurance costs today.