P&C Market Outlook: What You Need to Know

January 5, 2021

If you’ve already seen Alera Group’s Property & Casualty 2021 Market Outlook, you know what a wealth of valuable information is included in this comprehensive whitepaper.

Released in December and the product of a collaborative effort involving insurance companies, wholesale intermediaries, Alera Group subject matter experts and agent/broker affiliates throughout the United States, the document examines the insurance marketplace by lines of coverage and by industry. It’s a comprehensive and clear-eyed forecast, informed by a national Alera Group survey conducted earlier in 2020.

What’s more, the Market Outlook is a guide to the proactive measures decision-makers can take to improve efficiency and contain costs amid what we see as an ongoing hard market for at least the first quarter of 2021.

Now Alera Group is about to go further, with a series of articles focusing on individual industries and lines of Property & Casualty insurance coverage.

No marketplace is static. Unforeseeable events and emerging products can alter a landscape for better or worse. We didn’t need COVID-19 to teach us this, but the pandemic sure has driven the point home: An event directly hitting one industry can have far-reaching impact, like seismic waves emanating from an earthquake’s epicenter.

The Boston Globe demonstrates this brilliantly in the recent business story “One Block, One World,” reporting: “The pandemic crushed businesses on Boston’s Water Street. Even more devastating: The effects ripple around the world.”

What we’re covering

Alera Group’s P&C Market Outlook series will enable us to provide updated information and fresh insight during what promises to be an eventful first quarter. Among the topics covered in the whitepaper and soon to be revisited in the series are:


  • Healthcare (including Physicians Groups and Assisted Living)

  • Restaurants

  • Education

  • Real Estate

  • Public Sector

  • Construction

  • Nonprofits

  • Manufacturing

  • Hospitality and Gaming

  • Agriculture

Lines of Coverage
  • Cyber Liability

  • Employment Practices Liability

  • Workers’ Compensation

  • Commercial Property

  • General Liability

  • Surety

  • Commercial Auto

  • Personal Lines/Private Risk

  • Medical Malpractice

  • Umbrella/Excess Liability

  • Environmental Liability

  • Professional Liability/Errors and Exposures (E&O)

  • Directors and Officers Liability (D&O)

Market trends and their causes

In both the whitepaper and the series, you’ll learn about insurance marketplace trends, what’s driving market conditions, and what you can do to make your organization as attractive as possible to insurers in what continues to be a sellers’ market.

Current trends include higher costs (with the notable exception of Workers’ Compensation); more selective underwriting by carriers; more lead time to compile the increasing amount of information insurers are requiring for renewals; reductions in coverage and capacity; fewer options; heightened importance of relationships among carriers, brokers and clients; increasing reliance on Excess & Surplus markets for solutions; and greater use of captive insurance companies.

What’s behind these trends? Multiple factors, among them: the cyclical nature of the insurance industry, in which the marketplace until recently had been in long period of favorability toward the consumer; lower carrier profitability; a decline in carrier investment income; a spate of natural disasters; and uncertainty over the pandemic and the economy.

What you can do

While you can’t change the insurance marketplace, you can take steps to position your organization for the best available coverage while managing costs. The Property & Casualty 2021 Market Outlook whitepaper expands on these seven steps:
  1. Start early.

  2. Work with your agent/broker to develop a pre-renewal strategy.

  3. Be prepared to share more information with insurers.

  4. Show how you manage risk.

  5. Be receptive to getting on a conference call with potential underwriters.

  6. Be open to new solutions.

  7. Consider committing to an early renewal with your incumbent carrier.

  8. Take the time to review your renewal carefully.

Here’s one more: Read the P&C 2021 Market Outlook series. You’ll gain further insight to your industry and the insurance coverages your organization requires, and you’ll receive advice from some of the nation’s top thought leaders in their respective areas of expertise.

About the Author

Mark Englert
Executive Vice President/National Property & Casualty Leader
Alera Group

As an Executive Vice President and the Property and Casualty Practice Leader for Alera Group, Mark Englert works closely with member firms across the nation to enhance client experiences, build out new capabilities and coordinate services and resources. He has more than 25 years of insurance industry and related experience, including as previous managing-director roles at USI Insurance Services and Wells Fargo Insurance Services’ Metro Partnership.