The market has been consistently hardening, with many reinsurers continually evaluating the types of business they want to write or downsizing their lines of authority due to catastrophic exposure, climate-related risks, the ongoing wars, geopolitical issues, and generally poor underwriting results in the past eight to 10 years.
The market should continue to stay hard in 2024. Currently, we’re not seeing new capital enter the market and, assuming interest rates remain relatively high, we don’t expect to see any changes. When new capital comes in, reinsurers may start opening their capacity back up and looking for ways to put their balance sheets to work, however, as of now we have not seen any movement.
The homeowners insurance market is expected to worsen. Insurers are paying billions in claims, with hurricanes, convective storms, flooding, earthquakes, and wildfires causing catastrophic damage. The frequency and severity of claims and large payouts is unsustainable for insurers to remain profitable. In addition, there are states like California making it very difficult for insurers to do business. As a result, insurers are looking at where they can make a profit and where writing product no longer makes financial sense.
What’s Happening in Some of ISC’s Markets
While the construction insurance market is still hardening, it’s at a decelerated rate. We have reached rate adequacy and premiums are not going up as they once were or remain flat.
We’re seeing new entrants in the transportation segment and pricing dropping as the industry has finally reached rate adequacy. If rates continue to drop, carriers and MGAs with unprofitable business will leave the market, which often occurs in transportation. Additionally, the litigation environment in transportation, characterized by nuclear verdicts, is challenging, with some insurers trying to settle claims for medical bills and eventually capitulating and settling for policy limits. The carriers don’t want the liability of a jury trial.
Although the restaurants/bars/taverns and property markets remain relatively hard, we aren’t seeing any rate creep. The film production industry is back on track now that the writer and actor strikes are over. We are seeing a ton of demand with stalled projects back in the pipeline and new projects green-lit.
We will know more about the state of the market once the dust settles after January renewals, which were dramatically impacted by market conditions and reinsurers’ exits.
ISC’s Continued Success
ISC had a phenomenal 2023 growing about 25% year over year organically. We added two new programs: Marine Insurance and Allied Health. Our Marine business includes Ocean Marine, Cargo, Project Cargo Delay, Hull and Protection & Indemnity, Marine General Liability, and Excess Liability.
Our Allied Health program provides General Liability and Professional Liability coverage on one form and is available on an E&S basis, in line with almost all of our programs on the ISC platform. Business segments include registered nurses, surgery centers, home healthcare workers, and others.
We are projecting ISC’s growth trajectory to continue this year. In addition, we are looking to add another three or four new programs in 2024, including bespoke niche business.
ISC looks forward to enhancing our relationships with our broker partners with new programs and products, continued advanced technology, and AI capabilities.