9th September 2020

The Hard Market: Why now is the time to use a broker for your home insurance

By Aston Lark
modern home
The insurance market, specifically the UK Home Insurance market is set to see some big changes this year. The market, which for many years has been a “soft” buyers’ market, is shifting to what is known as a “hard” market, where it is normal to see restricted cover, higher premiums and more restrictive terms.

 

More of this from 2020...

  • Premium increases
  • Restrictive Terms

…and less of this

  • Appetite for new business
  • Flexibility on price
  • New insurers coming into the market
  • Insurers competing for new clients
A Bit of Background

It’s not all due to Covid-19. But it hasn’t helped. Here’s a summary of why it’s happening:

  • Insurer solvency rules mean that insurers now need to hold more spare capital. This is good because it reduces the chance of bankruptcy, but it also reduces insurers’ ability to write business and has acted as a barrier for new insurers looking to enter the UK market.
  • The cost of casualty claims has risen beyond that which insurers were expecting. Casualty insurers were anticipating that the profit from their Property Insurance divisions would offset this and that 2020 would be a good year with no catastrophe claim incidents.
  • But then storms Ciara and Dennis happened early in 2020. These were both one in 100-year events. Todate, the cost of these storms has been £360m*. 
  • Low interest rates have had a detrimental effect on Insurers investment returns.
  • So, things were looking bad already. Then Covid-19 struck. Early estimates put the costs to UK insurers at £1.2bn**, including business interruption claims, travel insurance claims, and wedding insurance and other event insurance claims.

To date, British Insurers have paid £360m for two separate once in a hundred years storms - storms Ciara and Dennis*

What does this mean for You?

Premiums are likely to rise, and underwriters are likely to be stricter in their renewal terms or acceptance of a policy in the first place. Already, we have seen some insurers increasing their minimum premium, requiring risk improvements or imposing significant rate increases.

How Aston Lark Can Help

Now, more than ever, you need an effective broker to fight your corner and to negotiate with underwriters. You need a broker with an excellent market reputation and the experience and knowledge to argue your case to get to you the very best quotes from a panel of trusted insurers.

Now is the time to ask a broker to help with your home insurance

 

It’s not all doom and gloom as there are:

  • still deals to be had
  • discounts to be found and
  • clever ways of reducing your premium.

Ask Aston Lark to help by reviewing your current policy, and you may be pleasantly surprised.
 

If you would like to get in touch, please call us on 020 8557 2420

 

* https://www.abi.org.uk/news/news-articles/2020/03/insurance-pay-outs-to-help-customers-recover-from-storms-ciara-and-dennis-set-to-top-360-million/#:~:text=Insurers%20expect%20to%20make%20payments,of%20British%20Insurers
%20(ABI).&text=Total%20payments%20to%20customers%20estimated%20at%20%C2%A3363%20million
.

** https://www.abi.org.uk/news/news-articles/2020/04/covid-19--payouts-of-over-1.2-billion-likely-to-be-made-to-customers-according-to-latest-estimate-from-the-abi/