Welcome to iLeads Insurance Market Minute, where we bring you the latest, most relevant news regarding the insurance market. Last week you were reading How Insurance Agents Can Strike The Balance In “Moments of Truth”. This week we’re bringing you:
Commercial insurance increases decelerating: Aon*
Hard market conditions persist in the commercial insurance sector but appear to be moderating on some fronts as rate increases decelerate across some lines and capacity enters the market, according to a report released Tuesday by Aon PLC.
Underwriting discipline also continues, including rising deductibles, sublimits and policy language exclusions, the report said.
“Pricing remains up to varying degrees; however, increases are decelerating,” Aon said. “Capacity is tight but sufficient for all but the largest and most complex placements, especially D&O.”
The exclusions and mandated clarifications are appearing in silent cyber, infectious disease and contingent business interruption, Aon said.
Insurers, meanwhile, are applying sublimits to cap their overall exposure, and deductibles are trending upward to shift some of the risk and help offset pricing increases.
Although rate increases are decelerating overall, some lines remain challenged, such as directors and officers liability, cyber, catastrophe-driven property placements and those with contingent business interruption exposures, Aon said.
Those looking to secure large limit capacity will be “far more challenged” than lower limit placements, according to the report.
Despite the continuing challenges and remaining hard market conditions, insurers have begun to look for areas to grow, Aon said.
Insurance industry most frequent focus of ransomware: Report*
The insurance industry was the most frequent focus of ransomware attacks in the first half of this year, while the overall number of cyberattack incidents increased 125%, according to an Accenture PLC report released Wednesday.
The report from Accenture’s cyber investigation, forensics and response unit is based on data obtained from Accenture clients.
Ransomware was the most frequent malware by category, accounting for 38% of attacks, followed by backdoors, which allow criminals to bypass normal authentication channels and gain remote access, which accounted for 33% of the total, the report said.
Insurance accounted for 23% of the ransomware attacks by industry, followed by consumer goods and services (17%) and telecommunications (16%), according to the report.
Fifty-four percent of ransomware attacks were against companies with between $1 billion and $9.9 billion in revenue, followed by companies with between $10 billion and $20 billion in revenue, at 20%.
“Despite heightened awareness, government action and industry collaboration, ransomware is likely to remain one of the top threats to businesses globally,” the report said. “If anything, it has entered a new phase as threat actors adopt stronger pressure tactics and capitalize on opportunistic intrusion vectors.”
How can you meet your clients’ needs during a hard market?*
The hardening market has forced the industry to think proactively, shifting attention to education on market conditions and customizing coverage to fit individual needs.
“A hard market is cyclical for the insurance industry, it can be 15-20 years between cycles,” Troy Crawford (pictured above), the head of small business product management at Westfield told Insurance Business. “A lot of producers out there that are newer to the insurance industry may not have been through a hard market before, so we should make sure we’re educating them on what drives hard market conditions.”
“When you talk about a hardening market, there’s two different pieces,” Mark Moitoso (pictured below), executive VP of risk practices at Lockton added. “One, is programs restructuring, and by and large the program capacity and capital deployment has all been restructured. Now it’s a question of how much prices will continue to rise. Our anticipation is that prices will continue to increase but in a less painful way.”
It’s vital for agents to have a clear understanding of what is driving market conditions so clients can receive a well-rounded explanation to the rationale for increases. Then they can carefully examine the options available to them.
“Lowering coverage in a hard market is not always the right starting point,” Crawford noted.
He emphasized the importance of educating consumers about inflationary trends, providing a background as to why insurance rates are increasing, taking the time to carry out coverage reviews, and updating information as a client’s insurance needs may have shifted during the pandemic.
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