American Global News

Overcoming Rate Escalation: Early Negotiations New Methods and New Suppliers

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April 5, 2021 • Jeffrey Segall, AU, ARM, CIC, CRM, CRIS, CPCU

Check out this great article about overcoming rate escalation by Jeffrey Segall, AU, ARM, CIC, CRM, CRIS, CPCU, Senior Vice President at American Global LLC, in ENR’s Insurance Today edition!

This past year, it is estimated that the availability of limits has been reduced by approximately $500 million. In other words, the supply side of excess insurance has been reduced by a third. The result is more cost for the remaining available supply.

We know that over time as pricing increases, more availability will be offered, which will result in lower prices in the future. The trick is to minimize the time it takes for the market to self adjust and minimize cost now.

One technique that proves to be successful in keeping cost down is for your broker to work as hard in marketing excess layers as it does the primary. That starts with finding ways to differentiate your company from the rest of the submissions underwriters receive. Many frontline underwriters have lost the authority to negotiate without involving senior management, which takes time—so do not wait.

For companies requiring high excess limits, the tendency to buy layer upon layer is a common approach. This is fine in a soft market, but looking for insurance companies to share in layers may result in lower overall cost today. Sharing layers is a technique that should always be considered even in a soft market, but in a hard market, this approach makes sense even for smaller clients that are buying lower limits.

Hunting for new insurance carriers is a constant process at aggressive agencies, but not all can look outside of the U.S. marketplace. There is currently an increased interest from foreign insurance companies wanting U.S. insureds. This hard market has made insurance from Great Britain, Bermuda, Ireland, Switzerland and other countries much more competitive.

Bottom line, there is a lot that can be done to minimize the impact of rising rates—and it is likely that more ways will emerge over the coming year.

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