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In the insurance industry, the term "hard market" indicates a phase where securing coverage becomes more challenging and costly. This situation results from multiple factors, including an uptick in claims, diminished investment returns for insurers, and significant changes in the economic or regulatory environment that introduce greater uncertainty and risk.


One crucial element often overlooked in this scenario is reinsurance, which functions as insurance for insurance companies. This layer of protection allows insurers to spread the risk of large-scale claims, ensuring they don't bear all the potential losses alone. However, when reinsurers reach their "capacity for risk," it means they've hit the limit of what they can responsibly manage based on their available capital.


Implications for Insurance Companies:

Higher Reinsurance Costs: With limited capacity, reinsurance becomes more expensive, and these higher costs are typically passed down to consumers through increased premiums.

Growth Limitations: If insurers cannot secure sufficient reinsurance, they might restrain their policy offerings or refrain from entering risk-prone markets now that they are taking on the bulk of paying for their catastrophic losses.

Stricter Underwriting: Facing higher costs and reduced reinsurance backing, insurers become more selective, choosing to cover only those risks with a lower likelihood of leading to claims.

Direct Effects on Wyoming's Policyholders:

Rising Premiums: The costlier reinsurance directly translates to higher insurance premiums for the end consumers.

Reduced Insurance Availability: Particularly in Wyoming, where environmental risks like wildfires are significant, insurers may choose to limit or withdraw coverage in high-risk areas.

More Restricted Policies: Insurance policies might come with increased exclusions, higher deductibles, and capped coverage limits, all strategies to mitigate the insurer's risk exposure.

Wildfire in rural Wyoming

A specific factor exacerbating these challenges in Wyoming is the state's approach to fire hazard mapping. As insurers and reinsurers assess the risk profiles of different regions, detailed and up-to-date fire hazard maps become invaluable. These maps provide crucial data about the likelihood of wildfires in various areas, influencing both the availability of insurance and its cost.


For Wyoming—a state with vast rural areas and significant wildfire risks—accurate fire hazard mapping is critical. It informs reinsurance companies about the level of risk they're underwriting and helps insurers develop pricing strategies that reflect the true risk of fire-related losses. However, if these maps indicate high risk or are outdated, reinsurers might be even more cautious about extending capacity, leading to tighter conditions in the insurance market.


This dynamic underscores the importance of accurate, comprehensive fire hazard mapping as a tool not just for crisis management but for financial stability in insurance. It impacts how reinsurance capacities are determined and, by extension, affects the availability and affordability of insurance for homeowners, farmers, and business owners across Wyoming.


As we navigate this hard market, it's crucial for Wyoming's residents to understand how these factors interconnect—reinsurance, fire risk assessments, and local insurance availability. By fostering awareness and encouraging dialogue among policyholders, insurers, and policymakers, we can strive for a more resilient insurance market capable of withstanding financial pressures and natural hazards alike.

Jessica J Weaver, CIC

Agency Owner


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Meet Our New Customer Service Specialist, Cheryl Moody

We are thrilled to announce our newest addition to the Weaver Insurance Agency team, Cheryl Moody, who joins us as a Customer Service Specialist. With a passion for helping people and a wealth of experience as an Administrative Assistant, we are ready to support our clients with outstanding service and promptness on turnaround time for your requests.

A Background of Excellence

Cheryl brings an impressive background in customer service to our team. She has developed a deep understanding of what it takes to meet and exceed client expectations. Her expertise spans various industry areas, including Education, Local Radio, and Oil and Gas, making her a valuable resource for our clients.

Why Cheryl?

What sets Cheryl apart from the rest is her genuine commitment to making your experience a pleasant one. She believes in building strong, personal connections with clients and ensuring they feel heard and valued. With her background as a paraprofessional, she has the heart for empathy that we find a key asset in our office and industry.

Cheryl is eager to start assisting our clients. She will be deep-diving into training on all of our carrier websites to understand how to assist in making changes, taking payments, and eventually providing quick and easy quotes as your needs arise. She will be the primary contact for all phone calls. We have had difficulty keeping up with the demands of phone calls, and we needed a dedicated person to help with this immense need; Cheryl is the perfect fit! Please give her kindness and patience as she learns about our ever-changing industry. She will be trained in no time!

Join us in Welcoming Cheryl!

We couldn't be happier to have Cheryl on our team, and we're confident that her dedication to excellence in customer service will significantly improve our clients' experiences. Please join us in welcoming Cheryl to Weaver Insurance Agency. Contact her at 307-655-8001 or stop by our office to say hello. Cheryl looks forward to meeting each of you and becoming an integral part of your insurance journey.

Welcome aboard, Cheryl! We're excited about the future and the unparalleled service we'll continue providing our clients with you on our team.

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At Weaver Insurance, we value your trust and aim to maintain transparency, especially when it comes to matters that directly impact you. With that sentiment, we wish to share some critical insights into the current global insurance market and how it may influence your insurance premiums. As a locally owned business, we like many of you are very concerned for our community. We invest many hours and dollars to do our part in keeping the local economy strong. I encourage you to read this publication, if anything it will help you understand to some degree how much we care and work to protect you.

**Navigating Through the Hard Insurance Market**

You might have heard or read about the ongoing "hard market" in the insurance industry. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a hard market is characterized by a high demand for insurance coverage and a reduced supply. Several factors contribute to a hard market, such as significant losses from natural disasters, economic shifts, or global events that create an unstable environment for insurers. Your insurance carrier must remain solvent to maintain its status with the State Insurance Department. If solvency becomes an issue, this means they cannot pay the claims expense for your policy and then lose their authority to write business in your State. By remaining solvent, actuarial and underwriting changes must take place. Many times it is placing more responsibility to self-insure your exposures than what we are used to seeing.

How did the economy affect insurance carriers? Simply put... the premium you pay is calculated by the potential for loss. Whether that is litigation for bodily injury claims with your auto insurance or the cost of rebuilding your home or business. When the COVID era was in full force, EVERYTHING significantly increased in cost, which caught the insurance companies off guard. They did not charge enough premiums to pay for those losses. A year or two later, just about every insurance company in the world is at a 100% + loss ratio. They are all financially struggling.

Below are some things that we are seeing. Obviously, we can go deep into the weeds about the insurance market, and very happy to dive deeper with you over the phone or at the office if you have questions. We have links that will take you further into some articles that we have shared with our policyholders to explain in depth the global scene of insurance. Please read further here: How Long Will The Hard Insurance Market Last? - AgencyEquity

**Key Characteristics of a Hard Market:**

  • Increased Premiums: Insurers raise premium rates to compensate for higher claim costs and to maintain a financially stable position.

  • Stricter Underwriting: Insurance carriers often adopt more rigorous underwriting standards, making it tougher to qualify for certain coverage.

  • Limited Coverage: There may be more limitations on coverage, and certain risks may not be insurable at reasonable prices.

  • Pre-Bind Issues: Insurers are placing holds on new businesses, limiting the quick purchase of coverage, declining risks, and putting agents through the wringer to prove the risk. This delays coverage issuance slows quoting down, and makes for a difficult landscape for agents and clients to navigate.

  • Reinsurance: The global insurance carriers that insure your insurance company from catastrophic losses, at this point in time, are at capacity and are pushing the catastrophe losses to your insurance company to absorb. Your insurance company then spreads the extra cost and limitations to all of the policyholders.

**How Does This Impact Your Insurance Policy?**

The shift into a hard market may bring about adjustments in your premium and policy terms upon renewal:

  • Premium Rate Increase: You may experience an increase in your premium rates as insurers recalibrate their pricing models to safeguard against prevalent risks and potential claims.

  • Policy Terms and Conditions: You might notice alterations in the terms and conditions of your policy, which may include adjusted coverages and potentially higher deductibles. Causing you to self-insure many of the smaller claims or the riskier exposures.

**Next Steps and Keeping In Touch**

  • Deductible Increases: We recommend for the next year to consider increasing your deductibles. Especially for Wind / Hail losses. This will help lower your premium, however, you must plan for your additional out-of-pocket expense during a claim.

  • Bundling: Insurance bundling discounts are helping everyone save money. If you do not own a home, a renters policy will help. If you do not have an umbrella policy, this will help.

  • Reconstruction Values: During the Covid Era, your cost to rebuild your home or building was hyperinflated, we can look at that and see if it's wise to lower those limits some. We encourage you to look very closely at your coverages.

  • Driving Discounts: Not a fan favorite item, however, this assists you in saving up to 20-40% (depending on the insurance company) off of your auto insurance premiums. The program tracks data for hard-breaking and accelerating trends and certain hours of the night (Midnight to 4 a.m. is not desirable). If you are not abusing those, your savings will be worth the annoyance of being tracked for 90 days. I tell everyone who considers it, if your phone is tracking your location, you might as well earn some money doing so. Just my opinion. I personally saved 23% with 3 teen daughters driving. It helped tremendously! Sadly, the auto insurance rating is so archaic, that driver monitoring is the only way (so far) that insurance companies have to fine-tune your premiums to how you drive. As technology improves, insurance will too.

**Our Commitment to You**

At Weaver Insurance, we understand that these changes are concerning, especially during uncertain times. Here’s how we pledge to navigate this challenging market together with you:

  • Transparent Communication: We will keep you informed about any changes or updates regarding your policy and the overall market scenario. Please always read your policy documents mailed/emailed to you.

  • Tailored Solutions: Our team is dedicated to exploring and suggesting the most efficient insurance solutions that align with your needs and financial circumstances as best as we can. Please give us the opportunity to help you. Financial strain causes enormous stress on anyone. We need to understand your situation so we can help.

  • Risk Management Assistance: We offer resources and guidance to help you mitigate risks and potentially offset some premium increases through enhanced risk management practices.

I encourage you to reach out to Lorna, Jen, or myself for any specific questions related to your policy. We are doing our very best to help every customer stay insured at a budget they can afford.

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