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INSURANCE COMPANIES CONTINUE TO LOSE MONEY IN 2017 - OP/ED BY MIKE BECKMAN

The property and casualty market in the United States saw losses of nearly $841 billion through the first quarter of 2017. Total net income dropped by over 45% also. Although specific losses vary by company, this is a noteworthy trend in the insurance market. 

Companies seeing losses through underwriting (i.e. selecting which homes, autos & businesses they wish to insure based on the likelihood of a claim) tend to react in different ways. The most common way is to raise rates. Other ways include falling back on reserves, but this is merely a temporary fix, of course. 

The insurance world tends to be cyclical - if one company takes heavy financial losses via claims paid, and subsequently raise rates, then other companies will follow suit. This spells trouble for insureds, whether they have filed a claim or not! After some time, when net reserves of said company are healthy again and profits are in the black, then companies will lower rates to become competitive again, and other companies are compelled to follow suit to survive. 

But remember - all insurance companies must file a request with their respective state before they are allowed to rase rates for customers. Companies cannot arbitrarily raise rates because the CEO had a bad day at the track. If they can't show good reason for a rate increase, then they are denied.

I guess my point in all of this is... Be prepared to keep paying higher and higher premiums for your insurance. As costs go up, so do premiums. 

 

Data source: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2017/05/25/452150.htm#

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