Sharper Management


The insurance market for HOAs has been volatile, at best, for the last decade. 2023 has been horrendous on a number of fronts. For most associations, premium increases have been somewhere between 20-40%. For some, the primary business/structural policy premium has doubled. And for a rapidly growing number of associations, surprising news of non-renewals has left them scrambling to find coverage elsewhere in an already consolidated market. Unfortunately, the future doesn’t give any optimistic signs of improvement.

Although Minnesota is not alone in this troubling trend, we have been hit harder than most states. For five consecutive years, Minnesota has ranked in the top-5 in the nation for losses paid out. Florida has hurricanes. California has wildfires. Minnesota is the bullseye for hail. Minnesota has now been labeled as a “catastrophic state” by most insurance carriers, shrinking the market’s interested providers and inflating the rates for those offering coverage. One local industry expert calculated that for every $1 of premium collected, the insurance market has paid out $1.44 in losses for the multi-family sector.

In response, carriers have not only increased premiums, but also wind-hail deductibles have increased to the point they no longer even pay out for hail damage; they’ve increased the number of “exclusions” on policies, and thus reduced the scope of coverage and further complicating claims; they have decreased the “cash value” and valuations on claims.

While premium increases have been challenging, the real trouble in 2023 has been the shrinking market of providers and non-renewals. One industry expert with Insurance Warehouse estimated that there are only two or three carriers that will even write new policies for a townhome-style association right now. The big names, such as American Family, State Farm, Farmers, etc., have steadily been non-renewing associations with claims history and choosing to refrain from writing any new policies for multi-family developments. Many associations have had to go to the “secondary market” of carriers, which only fulfills the association’s requirement to have insurance, but offers little coverage and inflated premiums.

The insurance market for associations is really in a state of crisis. In summary, carrier selections are becoming fewer, non-renewals more common, and drastically increasing premiums are the norm. Associations need to be aware of these challenges and be prepared financially.