We have seen a steep incline in our insurance premiums over the last 12 months that have caused all of us to question the reasons behind them and wonder where to go from here.
Premium increases, fewer market choices, and stricter underwriting guidelines are defining our current market. Typically, a hard market will cause panic in consumers especially when reviewing a renewal offer. Most clients will want to look for a new, cheaper policy, but will soon find that it is not just their current carrier increasing rates but all carriers in the market. What they will likely also find is fewer options than in previous years, which is another indicator of a hard market. At Galt Insurance Group we are working closely with our clients to educate them on the pitfalls of changing carriers for relatively small savings. Insurers are much more conservative in this market and are only looking for risks that are free of any potential issue. Carriers are canceling policies during the underwriting phase for reasons not typical in a normal market. When a client finds themselves being canceled by one carrier it becomes even more difficult to find a new one to accept their risk.
Although there are instances when changing carriers in a hard market will make sense, in most cases, it is best to remain with your existing insurance company. One strategy is to consider whether coverage changes to lower the overall premium are in your best interest.
Here are some questions to ask your agent when reviewing your next renewal:
- What is the driving factor behind my rate increase?
- Does it make sense for me to consider changing to a new carrier?
- Are underwriters acting conservatively when considering new business?
- What are the potential pitfalls I might face in the underwriting phase of a new policy?
- Are there coverage changes I should consider on my current policy to lower the premium?
If you don't have an agent that is acting as an advisor and educating you, then it is time to look for a new one. Call Galt Insurance Group at 239-254-0127 to learn about this current market and allow us to guide you through it.