A recent study by global insurance giant Munich Re indicates that although the number of natural disasters has increased five-fold in the last 30 years, many people still do not buy insurance to protect themselves or their property from catastrophic events.  Although no one knows for certain the cause of the increase in natural disasters, the frequency and strength of cataclysmic disasters seemingly continue to increase from one year to the next.

Greg Nelson

As the drought continues to intensify in California and neighboring states, owners of rural and urban properties need to take steps to protect their properties and avoid fire losses.   This is especially true in California where the number of wildfires has increased to historic proportions.  In 2013, there were 9,907 wildfires recorded in California, more than any other state.  Arizona had 1,756 wildfires which represented the fifth highest number of wildfires in the country.

Greg Nelson

It is probably no surprise to most companies, but insurance rates continue to increase although the rate of increase is slowing in a few lines of business.  According to a report by Willis North America -- a major national insurance brokerage -- rates in property insurance are holding steady with slight increases and in some cases, slight dips in rates.  This is largely due to the fact there have been fewer large catastrophic weather events during the last couple of years, resulting in fewer claims for insurance carriers reducing the need to increase rates.  Policyholders can expect rates to decrease from five to ten percent.

Greg Nelson

Insurance providers that offer workers’ compensation are taking a wide variety of actions in order to move towards profitability in this highly-regulated market.  Financial results improved last year for workers’ compensation providers, but they continue to lose money in the market.  According to the state agency that evaluates the results for workers’ compensation insurance, the “combined ratio” (expenses and claims to premium received) for workers’ compensation insurance in California for 2013 was 122 -- for every dollar of premium the insurance industry took in in, it paid out $1.22.  This is better than 2012 when the combined ratio was 141.

 

Greg Nelson

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