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  • Writer's pictureScott Brekne

P&C Insurance is in a Hard Market. Here is what that means for you.

Just like the stock market, the property and casualty insurance market is cyclical.  Rather than use fun and engaging terms such as “Bull” and “Bear” market, the property and casualty insurance market uses “Soft” and “Hard” market.  Let’s review what defines a soft versus a hard market and how the current hard market conditions are impacting insureds and their premiums.


Soft vs. Hard Insurance Markets

Soft Market

In a soft market, insurance carriers are relatively eager to write new business.  This eagerness promotes more competition in the industry, which drives down insurance premiums, expands coverage options, and may lead to relatively lenient underwriting standards.  Insurers often begin offering discounts and incentives to attract new clients, making it a favorable environment for insureds.

Hard Market

Hard markets reflect the other side of the cycle and can be brought on by various factors such as rising claim costs (i.e., price inflation, social inflation, severity of claims), catastrophic events (i.e., hurricanes, tornadoes, wild fires, flooding), low investment returns or regulatory changes.  These factors, among others, can lead carriers to be more selective in their underwriting, increase premiums, reduce coverage options and offerings, and implement stricter eligibility criteria.

We’re in a Hard Market

Property and casualty insurance is currently in a hard market and various factors, such as those outlined above, are to blame.  While the consequences have been felt by insurance carriers, insureds are equally absorbing the brunt.

  • Higher Premiums: Insureds may experience significant premium increases, regardless of claims history.  This increase reflects the industry's efforts to recoup losses and ensure financial sustainability.

  • Reduced Coverage Options: Insurers may reduce coverage options or require higher deductibles to manage risk exposure.  Insureds may need to reassess their coverage needs and consider alternative risk management strategies.

  • Stricter Underwriting Standards: Insurance companies thoroughly review applications, particularly for high-risk properties or industries.  Some applications may be declined or escalated to senior underwriting review.

Navigating the Current Hard Market

Despite these challenges, insureds can take proactive steps to mitigate its impact:

  • Risk Management: Rather than relying on insurance for the transfer of risk, implement enhanced risk management practices to minimize exposure to potential losses.  This can include improving property conditions, safety protocols, and disaster preparedness measures.

  • Insurance Review: Periodically review insurance policies with your agent or broker.  Be sure to discuss and understand your coverages, endorsements, credits and other potential cost-saving measures.

  • Market Comparison: Obtain quotes from multiple insurers to leverage competitive pricing and coverage offerings. An independent insurance agent can facilitate this process and advocate for the insured's best interests.


Navigating the complexities of a hard market requires informed decision-making and strategic planning from both insurers and insureds.  Understanding these market dynamics allow individuals and businesses to adapt to changing conditions, further mitigate risk, and protect their financial interests.  Reach out to your licensed insurance agent or broker today to review your current insurance situation.

About Brooks Robb & Callahan

Brooks Robb & Callahan is a family owned and operated independent insurance agency protecting personal and commercial clients from property and casualty risks since 1871. Sisters Kristen Ducharme and Lindsey Stortz acquired the business from their long time family friends in July 2013. Their brother, Scott Brekne, joined the business in 2021. Together they continue to run the business the way it always has been – by family with honesty and integrity. They feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to work together every day.

The information provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Insurance coverages and policies can vary significantly based on individual circumstances and the terms of the policy. Brooks Robb & Callahan recommends consulting a licensed insurance professional or your insurance carrier to determine the appropriate coverage for your specific personal needs.

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