Building Owners to See Insurance Rates Double

Commercial building owners in San Diego can expect their insurance policies to double when it comes time to renew, according to

The insurance industry took a significant financial loss after the Sept. 11 attacks, losing about 20 percent of its capacity, according to Larry Fulton, an assistant vice president of Robert F. Driver.

According to Jenny Jones, a principal for Elkins/Jones, the rate increase is due to the huge loss re-insurers suffered immediately following the attacks. The companies lost up to $75 billion or more.

Rates shot up quickly as insurance companies tried to recover, offering less coverage for more money. A particularly sensitive issue has been the loss of terrorism coverage from policies.

Insurance firm Cavignac & Associates forecasts some of the changes expected to take place over the next few months include a 10 to 30 percent rate increase on profitable accounts, rate increases for accounts with higher loss ratios due to natural catastrophes, a change in underwriting for natural catastrophe exposures, increased deductibles, reworded policies and elimination of some types of coverage, and the exclusion of terrorism coverage on policies.

Increases will likely to be based on the age, condition, and location of the building. Gary Kloehn of Barney & Barney said to expect higher increases for high-rise buildings, while smaller buildings will maintain more manageable increases.