The market for commercial property insurance continues to be challenging. Here are several factors contributing to premium increases for commercial property coverage.
Hurricanes, floods, wildfires, tornadoes, winter storms. The frequency and severity of major catastrophes continue to stress the industry. In five of the past six years, these events have caused annual insured losses of more than $100 billion globally. Last year, total insured losses globally were estimated at a staggering $140 billion.
Catastrophic events are a major factor driving up the cost of reinsurance — an expense primary carriers need to pass along to customers. At the same time, inflation and the economic environment has been making reinsurers more selective. In early 2023 the gap between reinsurance supply and demand was estimated at $60 billion, three times what it was the previous fall.
Recent inflation has driven the cost of materials and services much higher, but just 43% of business owners say they have increased their policy limits to accurately reflect what it would take to replace insured property now. Customers must have accurate valuations for their assets so they don't come up short after a loss, and premiums will reflect those higher values.
Property Replacement Costs
Led by a 55% increase in the cost of structural steel and a 35% increase in the price of lumber, construction costs have jumped over the past three years: Nonresidential is up 36% and multifamily residential is up 32%. Similarly, machinery and equipment costs have increased 18% over the same period. Many contractors continue to grapple with materials shortages and supply chain disruptions as well.
Skilled Labor Shortage
Nearly half of reconstruction costs are wages and salaries, which have increased 16% over the past three years. Even with higher pay, nine out of 10 contractors are struggling to find skilled labor and are delaying projects as a result. Higher rebuilding costs and longer delays may trigger an increase in business interruption losses.
Property Rate Need
For years, escalating loss trends have outpaced rate increases, primarily because of the costs of catastrophes, severe weather and large fires. Expect carriers to raise rates again this year to close the gap.
The Equal Plates Project: Local Chefs Providing Meals for School Kids and Low-Income Residents
Feeding The Community
The Equal Plates Project, formerly known as We Give A Share, is a non-profit that makes fresh, quality, nutritious meals for lower-income school children and others in the community. Their mission is “To Make All Plates Equal” using fresh, local produce-based, made-from-scratch meals that are provided for Charter Schools, early learning centers, subsidized senior homes, agencies serving unhoused individuals, and residents in public housing. Kikkoman Shaw, Executive Chef for the Equal Plates Project, said, “We’re trying to touch everybody in the community and let them have the experience that people who go downtown would get and spend all this money for.”
A Community Coming Together to Help
Aaron and Anne Grier, owners of Gaining Ground Farm, launched the initiative and brought other farmers, producers, restauranteurs, and other advocates to join the cause. Born during the COVID-19 lockdowns, the program was originally a way to keep farms afloat and avoid crops going to waste. The project then shifted to also help people, especially the elderly living in public housing, to provide access to healthy foods. Regional businesses such as Sunburst Trout Farms, Looking Glass Creamery, and Farm & Sparrow are some of the sources for fresh produce, dairy, fish, meat, and other ingredients. Suppliers are paid fair, market-rate prices for their contributions. Chefs Kikkoman Shaw and Kendrick Burton are experienced chefs, who have worked for local fine dining restaurants such as Buchon, The Blackbird, Benne on Eagle, and Tupelo Honey. The program also has the help of other volunteers.
Nourishing The Future of WNC
This summer, Equal Plates Project partnered with the Asheville Housing Authority to provide meals to residents in public housing. The goal is to provide this service year-round. For now, the organization’s resources are dedicated to the school programs. Each week, hundreds of meals for local schoolchildren are prepared. Chef Kendrick Burton on leaving the restaurant industry to join the Equal Plates Project, “I think this is more meaningful because you’re feeding kids, and kids are the future.”
How You Can Help
The organization is always looking for help to provide their services to the community. Financial support, community partners, and volunteers are ongoing needs for the organization to grow. Volunteers do not need cooking experience. Tasks range from cutting vegetables to bagging meals to cleaning.
To volunteer, visit equalplatesproject.org
Dave Trout hails from the restaurant business and always keeps in touch with the great work that his old friend Kikko is now doing. Dave and the rest of the Trout team proudly support Kikko and the Equal Plates Project.
Inflation Reduction Act Extends Health Insurance Subsidies
Set to be signed this week by President Joe Biden, the Inflation Reduction Act will extend Health Insurance subsidies (originally enacted through the American Rescue Plan) for at least another three years. These subsidies are of particular benefit for those over age 50, but still too young to sign up for Medicare (Age 65). Those under 50 are still set to receive subsidy help as well.
Why This Is Important for You and Your Family
According to the AARP, those between the ages of 50 and 64 pay up to THREE times more for their health insurance. Avalere, a health insurance consulting firm, calculated that someone in their 50s or early 60s earning 400% to 500% of the federal poverty level could save $4,700 in premiums because of the subsidies. Even for someone in that age bracket earning 100% to 150% of the federal poverty level the savings would average about $500 per person. Once these subsidies have been in place for a full 5 years it will be tempting for Congress to extend them further, with the likely eventual outcome that they will become permanent.
Join Us in supporting our friends at The YMI (Young Men’s Institute) Cultural Center of Asheville with their launch of the “129 Years and Counting” campaign to improve the organization’s home at 39 South Market Street. The campaign’s goal is to make the building more efficient, create commercial space for rentals, provide more robust programming, lower operational costs, and generate additional income that will make the organization more sustainable over the long-term.
Our General Manager (Jessica Cody) and Owner (Dave Trout) attended the YMI’s Capital Campaign Kickoff Event on April 30th, where they were able to meet some of the new faces of the YMI as well as chat with some of our old friends from the organization. We’re encouraging everyone to visit the YMI’s website, learn more about the organization, and contribute what they can to help the YMI achieve their goals.
Trout Insurance is extremely proud to work with the YMI and to help where we can. More information about the YMI, the “129 Years and Counting Campaign”, and a link to donate can be found by clicking the button below.
Donate today and help this wonderful group!
Congratulations to the YMI on over a century of great work!
ACA Plans for 2022 - So Many Choices!
Greetings …We will have MANY choices for insurance companies for folks who buy their plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace/ Affordable Care Act/ ObamaCare. In our Western NC region - there will be a Total of 124 Plans !
BCBSNC | Oscar Health | Bright Health | Ambetter | United Health Care
And two new companies - Friday Health & Aetna CVS
How To Decide If I Should Change?
First - 2022 Subsidy - We need to see your actual NET premium after your Premium tax credit. This is based on your estimated family income for 2022. Marketplace uses MAGI - That’s Line 11 on the 1040. Look at this first and think about what it will be in 2022 !
Second - Bronze, Silver & CSR’s - All ACA plans are graded into “ metallic levels “ – which work to compare the relative “ horsepower “ of these plans. But all plans within a level are not the same! Some have no copays until the deductible is met, same with Rx which could be a different amount. Or – no deductible at all – you just start paying a percentage from the get-go. And if you are of more modest income – below 250% of Federal Poverty Level- you may qualify for Cost Sharing Reductions on Silver plans; lower copays, deductible and out of pocket maximums.
Third - Your Doctors - Many of the companies are HMO – that is “ In Network only “. Are you happy with your primary or specialists? Would you want to change doctors, and would your new one accept your coverage or even you? Many doctors are not adding new patients. Overall, most of us want the most choice and flexibility with our medical care.
And Fourth – Extras Are there any additional benefits you are looking for ? - Some plans are adding preventative dental to the plans themselves – no extra cost. Others have convenience of a local “ Health Hub “ or tele -medicine. Unlimited primary care doctor or mental health visits at zero copay. Zero or low copay for generics. We need to look at how you use health care and then how you want your insurance to work
NEXT – After November 1 - We’ll be able to see all the plan options and what your actual premium would be with the updated subsidy amounts. We’ll be sending you specific information for you and your family. You can update your information for us HERE
AND - We welcome the Opportunity to work with other people you know. Please forward them this email and we can get started!
We appreciate the opportunity to work with you over the years.
For a more detailed breakdown of the information below, click here
Each year, your Medicare Advantage and Medicare RX plans will change and update their benefits for the upcoming year.
For Medicare RX plans – these include
Premiums, Rx deductibles and copays, and Rx tier details
Look for a thick envelope like this...
BE SURE TO OPEN IT!
And Then - Look for "Summary of Important Costs for 2022"
This will highlite Changes for 2022 in your current plan.
What’s Next ??
We’ll be sending you email with how we can help you. Especially reviewing your Prescriptions and how they will be best covered for 2022. We have new tools and software.
AND – For Medicare Advantage plans
Highlights: For Our Medicare Clients with Stand Alone Medicare RX plans or Medicare Advantage plans.
For help - Call your Trout Insurance Agent. Main line: 828.279.4681
Over the next few months, you’re probably going to receive a lot of information about Medicare. It’s all meant to help you understand your coverage choices and make informed decisions during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (Oct. 15 – Dec. 7). There is one piece of Medicare mail, though, that you want to be sure to read. It’s called the Annual Notice of Change, or ANOC for short, and it comes from your current Medicare plan provider. Delivered by September 30, ANOC letters ensure that plan members have up-to-date plan information before the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period begins.
Your Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D prescription drug plan ANOC provides important information. It can help you decide whether to keep your current plan or look for a new one during the Annual Enrollment Period. Here’s what to look for when you get your ANOC, along with questions to help you understand plan changes and what they may mean for you.
Provider network changes:
Drug list and pharmacy network changes:
Check with your plan if you are unclear about anything in the ANOC or if you did not receive an ANOC letter. You can call the customer service number on the back of your member card. Your Medicare plan details may change every year.
Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare prescription drug plans are offered by private insurance companies under contract with Medicare. Each year, they review their plan details each year and make changes as needed to better serve plan members. Take time to Review your Plan. You don’t want to be caught off guard by higher costs or coverage changes after January 1. And whatever your decision may be—to stay with your current plan or to explore other Medicare coverage options—you want to make it based on the facts.
Art In Autumn 2021
This weekend is the annual Art in Autumn in Weaverville, NC. We'll be there to take part in the festivities and answer any insurance questions you might have. Also, we will be taking canned food and monetary donations to help support Manna Food Bank. Those who donate will be entered into our raffle to win a Local Arts Gift Basket. Come join in on the fun and help support local artists and the community. Discover more about Art in Autumn and Trout Insurance here.
The YMI Cultural Center will be hosting the annual Goombay Festival during the weekend of September 3-5, in downtown Asheville. The YMI Cultural Center is one of the oldest Black cultural centers in the United States, and is a local landmark within the City of Asheville. This year's festival will be the 40th anniversary of the event and will feature dancers, rhythm bands, a kids area, and more. The festival will also showcase and promote the historical legacy of the "Founding Fathers" in a nod to the city's entrepreneurial African Americans.
Trout Insurance is proud to be a part of this great Asheville event. We will be providing information on new health insurance plans and companies as well as new discounts for auto and home insurance. Mark your calendars and get ready to join in on the fun.
To find out more about the Goombay Festival or the YMI Cultural Center, click here.
If you would like to learn more about Trout Insurance Services, click here.
“We do not offer every plan available in your area. Any information we provide is limited to those plans we do offer in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov or call 1.800.Medicare to get information on all of your options.”
Trout Insurance is an independent authorized agency licensed to sell and promote products from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC). The content contained in this site is maintained by Trout Insurance. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ®, SM Registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.”