As of January 1, 2018, hospitality employers in the city of Chicago must provide “panic buttons” for room attendants and restroom workers who work alone.
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One of Janet Yellen’s last acts as head of the Federal Reserve was to impose an unusual settlement condition upon Wells Fargo: as part of the consent decree, Wells Fargo would agree to the removal of four directors.
The environment for interest rates is all but confirmed for increases, and yet the cycle continues. Its durability doesn’t seem threatened by either a ready supply of equity or debt or even the possibility of oversupply. We have been noticing of late that ‘sectors’ are getting a deeper review by the insurance underwriters. Whereas in the past, the good results for insurance companies professional real estate risk was more uniform overall classes, we have seen that change more in the last 12 months. The ‘Amazon’ effect has put malls and strip shopping centers into a much greater focus and multifamily is also perceived to on its way to an oversupply issue. These two classes are seeing a higher level of scrutiny from the underwriting community.
Commercial property insurance buyers continue to experience a competitively priced market and benefit from moderate single-digit rate increases.
As 2017 begins, the global environment for ‘change’ seems to be everywhere on a geo-political basis, the likes of which we have not witnessed in quite some time. With this uncertainty, hard assets tend to be viewed as a safe haven and certainly the real estate market has benefitted from the current environment.
Cyber espionage, Zika, hurricanes and catastrophic wild fires and flooding throughout the world have made insurers and reinsurers more tentative, resulting in a slowdown of the double-digit price cutting trend that insurance buyers have enjoyed for the past eight quarters. At the mid-year point, property rates for most asset classes with decent loss histories were still falling but recent reinsurance renewals and new directives to “not chase down rates” from some of the biggest names in underwriting point to a leveling out in premiums.
The first six months of 2015 have proven that even with the M&A game heating up and offshore investments in insurance, there is abundant capacity for all asset classes and all geographic exposures. The fact that the National Weather Service is also predicting an El Niño event translates into lower hurricane expectancy. On the “fracking front”, the earthquake swarms never previously experienced have yet to make it to the “Boogey Man” list for insurers. Where there are new important changes is in the trend toward Midwest/Texas hail deductibles particularly for industrial flex.
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Complex real estate transactions gone awry can produce lengthy litigation. Even low value situations can become protracted litigation with significant money spent on what seems like endless defense. Real estate errors and omissions (E & O) liability insurance can help protect the balance sheet of your real estate business on these types of costs. Unfortunately, there are many pitfalls frequently created by insurance brokers who do not specialize in risk transfer products specifically for real estate firms. So what do you need to know?
The Gallagher Real Estate & Hospitality Market Update - Winter 2015 provides a recap of the industries' insurance and risk issues in 2014 as well as a 2015 market forecast. The report notes that 2014 was one of the most benign loss seasons in history. Insured losses were down 38% over the last year.