ORLANDO, Fla.— As we all anticipated, the insurance industry was watching to see how the market would react to the amount of catastrophic damage caused by hurricanes especially in Florida, Louisiana, Texas and North Carolina, wild fires in California and other natural disasters.
Commercial insurance rates are expected to go up. The current pricing environment for property/casualty insurers is “modestly positive,” with commercial and personal auto rates rising by mid-to-high single digits, homeowners and commercial property rates rising by low-to-mid-single digits, and commercial casualty rates showing smaller changes, according to a Moody’s Investors Service rate change and trend survey of insurers it rates.
Moody’s sees 2018 catastrophes including Hurricanes Florence and Michael extending the moderate upward pressure on property rates, especially in areas that suffered the most losses.
As reported by Insurance Journal, Commercial property insurers sought overall rate increases of about 4.0 percent in 2018, an improvement from overall declines in in 2015-16 and flat pricing in 2017. Moody’s expects insurers to continue boosting rates by low single digits. While the 2018 catastrophes will keep the upward pressure on loss costs and rates, the P/C market has “ample capital to absorb the latest events and limit the overall rate increases,” says the report.
The following are some tips to save on commercial insurance at a time when rates increases are anticipated.
Shop with several providers
You could find substantially lower rates than what you're paying without changing your coverage simply by shopping around. Most financial experts recommend that you shop around annually. One thing to consider: Some carriers offer loyalty bonuses. See if yours does before you make a decision.
Not all bundles are equal
Some commercial insurance providers also sell home and car insurance. If you need to buy multiple lines of coverage you could save a lot by just using a carrier that offers additional discounts for bundling it all together with them.
Evaluate your protection and your risks
Make sure you don't have coverage you don't need. Being overinsured can be costly and most importantly, there is no reason to be insuring yourself for a risk you don't face.
Increase your deductible
A good way to lower your premiums is to raise your deductible. The higher deductible will discourage you from filing smaller claims. But you will have to make sure it is set in an amount that you will have access to in case it is needed.
If your business has been claims-free for a period of years, you could be eligible for a discount. This is why it is always recommended to avoid filing smaller claims.
Ask about loss-prevention programs
Risk reducing programs like a workplace safety program, instituting disaster preparations, and initiating a theft-prevention plan could help you qualify for certain additional discounts as you will reduce the risk of a claim.
Consider group rates
Joining other businesses within the same category can be suitable for group rates. Check if your provider offers group rates. Also, another option to save could be purchasing your commercial insurance through a professional organization. Even if you have to pay a fee to join the organization, savings on reduced premiums most likely will be higher than their fee.
Some commercial auto insurance providers, could offer a discount on your year's premium of up to 15% if they get paid in a lump sum.
For personal insurance solutions check out our sister company Orlando Insurance Center