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What It Means for Insurance Buyers

Rising premiums. Disappearing capacity. Tighter contract terms. This is the new reality for risk managers as they renew their property insurance programs. Brokers are reporting premium increases of more than 50 percent for many insureds.

The property/casualty insurance market is cyclical. A period of rising premiums and reduced capacity—a hard market—is followed by a typically longer period of falling rates and expanding capacity—a soft market. Analysts debate whether the current period of rising premiums technically qualifies as a hard market since certain key attributes are missing. Some call it a “transitioning” market instead. Risk managers, brokers, and underwriters, however, aren’t overly concerned about technical definitions—this passes the duck test: it looks, feels, and acts like a hard market.

For many people in the insurance ecosystem, this is their first experience of hard market conditions. While rate levels fluctuated somewhat over the past decade, the overall trend has been softening rates since 2004, the end of the last industry-wide hard market. Facing an uncharacteristically volatile market, many risk managers find it difficult to budget their insurance costs, or even to explain to senior management why premiums are rising so sharply. The pressure is on to find creative ways of keeping their total cost of risk in check.

For insurance carriers, rising rates are finally bringing relief from a prolonged period of chronically underpriced business that took a toll on the bottom line. But even though rate increases of 25 percent and more are now the norm, underwriters say more improvements are necessary to restore insurer profitability.

Want to learn more? Download the Advisen/AXA XL white paper – The State of the Property Insurance Market: What it means for insurance buyers.


Global Asset Protection Services, LLC, and its affiliates (“AXA XL Risk Consulting”) provides risk assessment reports and other loss prevention services, as requested. This document shall not be construed as indicating the existence or availability under any policy of coverage for any particular type of loss or damage. AXA XL Risk. We specifically disclaim any warranty or representation that compliance with any advice or recommendation in any publication will make a facility or operation safe or healthful, or put it in compliance with any standard, code, law, rule or regulation. Save where expressly agreed in writing, AXA XL Risk Consulting and its related and affiliated companies disclaim all liability for loss or damage suffered by any party arising out of or in connection with this publication, including indirect or consequential loss or damage, howsoever arising. Any party who chooses to rely in any way on the contents of this document does so at their own risk.

US- and Canada-Issued Insurance Policies

In the US, the AXA XL insurance companies are: AXA Insurance Company, Catlin Insurance Company, Inc., Greenwich Insurance Company, Indian Harbor Insurance Company, XL Insurance America, Inc., XL Specialty Insurance Company and T.H.E. Insurance Company. In Canada, coverages are underwritten by XL Specialty Insurance Company - Canadian Branch and AXA Insurance Company - Canadian branch. Coverages may also be underwritten by Lloyd’s Syndicate #2003. Coverages underwritten by Lloyd’s Syndicate #2003 are placed on behalf of the member of Syndicate #2003 by Catlin Canada Inc. Lloyd’s ratings are independent of AXA XL.
US domiciled insurance policies can be written by the following AXA XL surplus lines insurers: XL Catlin Insurance Company UK Limited, Syndicates managed by Catlin Underwriting Agencies Limited and Indian Harbor Insurance Company. Enquires from US residents should be directed to a local insurance agent or broker permitted to write business in the relevant state.