Poll Shows Most Risk Professionals Expecting Hard Market through 2022

A glass globe reflecting the dollar signs from the table covering is in a G clamp vice.

October 22, 2021

A glass globe reflecting the dollar signs from the table covering is in a G clamp vice.

Most risk professionals have little hope for a softening of the commercial insurance market during 2022, with the majority seeing any significant change not coming until 2023 or later, a recent survey showed.

A LinkedIn poll conducted by Jack Gibson, president and CEO of the International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (IRMI), showed only 12 percent of 538 respondents expect market conditions to moderate during the first 6 months of 2022, with 27 percent seeing the market softening during the last half of next year.

Less optimistic were 35 percent of the risk professionals responding who expect the market to moderate in 2023 and 26 percent who expect a market turn in 2024 or later.

Beginning in 2019, the current hardening market conditions are the most challenging conditions commercial insurance buyers have experienced since the mid-1980s, Mr. Gibson notes.

Prior to the current hard market, the industry entered a hard market following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, with conditions turning back to a soft market in 2004, bottoming out in 2013, and remaining stable through 2018.

A review of 30-plus years of annual market reports published in IRMI's The Risk Report shows that the commercial insurance market has experienced soft markets lasting roughly 10 years followed by hard markets of about 3 years duration, Mr. Gibson said. "If this cycle holds true, the market should begin to soften sometime in 2022 or 2023," Mr. Gibson said, though noting that there's currently no evidence suggesting the market will moderate next year.

October 22, 2021