Episode 26 – Why Insurance Costs are Skyrocketing? Listen as Heather Posner Explains the Changes and Solutions!

In this episode of the All Things Wildfire podcast, the host welcomes Heather Posner, Vice President of National Product Manager at Private Client in Burns and Wilcox. The host commends Heather’s expertise, having attended one of her classes and observed her participation in webinars. They discuss Heather’s extensive background, starting with Progressive Insurance in 1999 and later moving to AIG and Pure Insurance, focusing on high net worth individuals.

Heather and the host delve into the current challenges in the insurance market, emphasizing the transition from a soft market to a hard market. They explain the concept of a hard market, where rates are high, competition is low, and capacity is limited. Heather emphasizes the need for individuals to adapt to the changing market conditions and discusses the emotional process clients and brokers go through as they adjust to the new reality.

The conversation turns to the intricacies of the admitted and non-admitted markets. Heather provides insights into how admitted carriers must navigate state regulations and gain approval for their rates, while non-admitted carriers, like Burns and Wilcox, have more flexibility in crafting policies tailored to individual risks. The discussion touches on the challenges faced by carriers in a hard market, leading some to exit certain lines of business or states.

Heather sheds light on the impact of recent severe weather events, supply chain issues, and the overall complexity of the insurance market. They discuss how brokers turn to wholesalers like Burns and Wilcox to find flexible solutions for their clients, particularly in high-risk areas such as California. The conversation also explores the role of risk management in mitigating potential losses and the ongoing efforts to strike a balance between profitability and providing coverage in wildfire-prone regions.

The host raises the topic of risk management initiatives mandated by the California Department of Insurance to secure premium discounts. Heather expresses skepticism about the effectiveness of such measures in achieving long-term profitability for carriers, emphasizing the importance of educating clients on managing their risks to prevent claims.

The episode concludes with a personal touch as Heather shares her own experience with a house fire during her childhood, highlighting the emotional and practical challenges that families face in the aftermath of such disasters.

Highlights:

Transition to a Hard Market: Heather Posner discusses the shift from a soft market to a hard market in the insurance industry, emphasizing the challenges posed by higher rates, reduced competition, and limited capacity.

Admitted vs. Non-Admitted Markets: The conversation explores the differences between admitted and non-admitted insurance markets, revealing how regulatory constraints impact carriers in the former while non-admitted carriers, like Burns and Wilcox, have greater flexibility in tailoring policies to individual risks.

Impact of Severe Weather and Supply Chain Issues: Heather provides insights into the broader challenges faced by the insurance market, including the impact of severe weather events, supply chain issues, and the complexity of adapting to changing market conditions.

Wholesalers as Solution Providers: The role of wholesalers, exemplified by Burns and Wilcox, is highlighted as brokers turn to them for flexible solutions in high-risk areas like California, where conventional carriers may face limitations.

Skepticism on Risk Management Initiatives: Heather expresses skepticism about the effectiveness of risk management initiatives mandated by the California Department of Insurance to secure premium discounts, emphasizing the importance of educating clients on managing risks for long-term prevention.

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On our podcast, we bring experts to educate homeowners, communities, and businesses on what they can do against wildfires. Our team consists of wildfire prevention specialists, retired fire captains, and fire marshals. 

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