The Property insurance market continues to face a wide range of challenges, from larger, more expensive losses to an evolving set of risks spawned by new technology in homes and contents of increased value, among other factors.

Significant catastrophe losses and lower-than-expected investment income have impacted premiums over the long term; the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) recently reported that direct insured property losses from catastrophes occurring in the U.S. totaled $21.6 billion in 2016. This is a sharp increase from $15.2 billion in 2015, and above the $19.2 billion average direct catastrophe losses for the past 10 years.

"Given the relatively quiet weather that the U.S. has experienced over the past few years, coupled with lower reinsurance costs, residence insurance in many parts of the country has experienced flat rates or even decreases," says Jeremy Coffman, vice president, personal lines marketing at Hartford Steam Boiler. Due to unprofitable results in the auto space, he points out, "Homeowners business is being viewed by carriers much more so than in previous years as a profit-driven space that may serve to lessen the severity of Auto results."

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