Report finds property insurance costs have risen a staggering 26 percent on average for respondents over the past year.
Today, the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) published the 2023 State of Multifamily Risk Survey and Report – a comprehensive review of today’s insurance market and risk mitigation strategies that multifamily businesses need to understand and consider.
Owners, operators and developers of rental housing have been hit hard by dramatically rising insurance costs in recent years. Coverage limitations, deductible increases and the absence of an affordable or viable private insurance market altogether have increased the financial risk borne by housing providers and strained property operations which has impacted rents charged to residents.
“These new findings and risk mitigation guidance come at a critical time for multifamily businesses and our residents,” said Sharon Wilson Géno, NMHC President. “The current confluence of high interest rates, increasing costs and an expanding need for affordable and attainable housing highlight the importance of housing providers and policymakers having a clear understanding of insurance market challenges. A more stable insurance market will help keep costs manageable which, in turn, will make rent more affordable.”
These challenges have coincided with an increasingly difficult multifamily risk landscape overall. The ability of multifamily firms to attract investments required to meet the nation's housing needs and help address its housing affordability crisis is put a risk by out-of-control insurance costs.
Accordingly, lawmakers should look for ways to incentivize a more robust insurance and reinsurance market for multifamily housing so that affordable, attainable, and quality lines of coverage are available to meet property needs and mitigate risk.
“One obvious, but critically important policy solution for lawmakers who are serious about housing affordability would be to finally reform and provide for a long-term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program,” Wilson Géno explained. “Ensuring that federal programs and funding are designed to help mitigate the risks rental housing providers face will also go a long way toward reducing insurance costs and enhancing housing affordability.”
Costs on the rise
The Survey found that property coverage has become much more expensive in recent years, leading policyholders to raise deductibles and insurers to limit coverage amounts and include new policy limitations. In the past three years:
- 61 percent of the respondents had to increase their deductibles to maintain affordability.
- 57 percent of the respondents indicated that their insurance carriers included new policy limitations to reduce their exposure.
- 34 percent reported that their insurance carriers limited or reduced coverage amounts.
What can multifamily businesses do?
Process: Begin policy renewals early and get firm expectations from your broker. Explore what levers or additional information can be acted on to improve results.
Data Quality and Modeling: As the market continues to harden and capacity becomes more limited and expensive, real estate firms must work closely with their brokers and advisors to understand their loss project models and determine what they need to buy from a risk management perspective.
Access Points: It is imperative to work with effective broker partners and have a robust internal risk management focus.
Creativity: Work with your risk management team and your broker/consultant to explore and understand all possible insurance solutions. Lender discussions: Owners need to negotiate as much flexibility as possible in all new loan agreements to plan for future volatility in the market.
FHS Risk Management provided analysis of Survey results and supplemented report findings with independent insights.
The full 2023 State of Multifamily Risk Survey and Report can be found here.
Based in Washington, D.C., the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) is the leadership of the apartment industry. We bring together the prominent owners, managers and developers who help create thriving communities by providing apartment homes for 38.9 million Americans, contributing $3.4 trillion annually to the economy. NMHC provides a forum for insight, advocacy and action that enables both members and the communities they help build to thrive. For more information, contact NMHC at 202/974-2300, e-mail the Council at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit NMHC's website at www.nmhc.org.