Insurance and excitement…together again like peas and carrots! by Charles Kaliades
Whitewater rafting, double black diamond skiing, octopus diving, running with the bulls (yes, that is me in Pamplona with all of my limbs thankfully still intact), just part of the daily routine for everyone here at RLL.
Okay, we may not be enjoying these activities on a regular basis but have definitely experienced our fair share of excitement outside of the office. This excitement, believe it or not, is also occurring while we are wearing our RLL uniforms. Really, it is more like capes and masks as our team eliminates risk transfer nightmares for so many within the real estate industry.
It makes us laugh that the insurance field is labeled as boring, our day-to-day journey is far from it. Who is to blame for this unfair misconception? Regardless, those familiar with the sector, or exploring it for the first time, know it is quickly evolving, mostly due to mounting losses across several markets (2019 alone accounted for $140B in losses1) and consumer demands.
$140B in losses seems astronomical, but this figure is actually $36B less than 2018’s total. How are these massive numbers accumulating in the first place?
- Attritional losses primarily driven by lender requirements
- Wood frame construction being used in many buildings across the country (susceptible to fire, water and wind damage)
- Moving migration patterns nationwide
- Coastal states exposed to natural disasters2
These consumer demands revolve around technological features, and these features are being introduced at a record pace in order to keep up with societies’ expectations of a turnkey lifestyle. This innovation coming to fruition in the space is a tremendous achievement by many, but can it combat these seismic shifts in how policies are underwritten?
Most likely not, as many in the industry believe these markets will continue to be challenging. The multifamily insurance rate increase for 2019 ranged from 10% to as high as 40%.3
There is hope though, as many, including our team, are constantly pursuing ways to provide value for our partners. We channel our inner George Costanza every day by simply asking… “In order to manage risk, we must first understand risk. How do you spot risk? How do you avoid risk and what makes it so risky?” (If anyone understands this reference or the one in my title, I have a bottle of Lysol spray with your name on it).
Even though our extracurricular activities have been at a minimum these last seven months, we still approach each day with excitement to foster new ideas and execute them.
Insurance has never been boring for us and the industry forecast does not look great. As ominous as that might be, for a myriad of reasons, we are embracing it and striving to help our partners continue to grow.