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Airmic: Hard Market Shows Signs of Softening

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The hard insurance market appears to be softening, with Airmic’s latest pulse survey identifying signs of ‘green shoots’ as the pace of rate increases slows

The survey found Airmic members perceive the insurance market to be softening, however 30 per cent of those surveyed expect market conditions to deteriorate in 2023.

The survey results identified that since 2021 fewer respondents are saying that they are experiencing hard market conditions.

Nearly 70% of respondents agreed that in view of the latest market environment they will begin the renewals process earlier.

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Graph 1: Airmic pulse survey report insurance market conditions

“After a period of large premium increases together with restrictions in cover, it is pleasing to see some stabilization in certain areas,” said Keith Jury, an Airmic member.

“We need to work as an industry to deliver that value by meaningful cover at a fair and sustainable price together with expert, analytics, advice and knowledge.”

The survey also found a shift in insurers’ attitudes when it came to dealing with climate risks, with 21% of respondents seeing ESG-related conditions in their insurance policy wordings.

Ryan Bond, head of insurance innovation for climate and sustainability at Marsh, explained how the insurance broker has adapted the way it is engaging with clients as a result of this shift.

“At Marsh, we regularly scan for macro trends that may have an impact on our clients. By engaging with a wide selection of carriers about how they consider climate and sustainability within their underwriting, we are able to better support our clients on how their risk transfer partners may start to consider non-traditional attributes.”

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“This, combined with our innovative ESG risk rating tool can help position our clients for whatever changes that may occur.”

With almost every sector affected by the impact of Brexit, Covid, the Ukraine War, inflation, interest rates, political turmoil, the risk landscape has significantly changed and, according to Heidi Carslaw, managing director at Mactavish, this also means a change in where risk resides in terms of ownership.

Carslaw believes the insurance industry faces a “a growing number of surprises in terms of loss trend developments,” which is expected to last for the next five years.

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“This has significant implications for both risk management and insurance, and we don’t believe we have yet seen the impact of this on insurance pricing and we won’t until the longer-term impact of these multiple crisis starts to come through in a change in the pattern of low probability, high severity loss events,” said Carslaw.

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