The long-enduring buyer's insurance market
has finally turned into a "seller's market,"
resulting in higher premiums, restricted
coverage and the reduced availability of high
Contractors who have renewed their insurance
recently might consider this an
understatement. They faced shocking rate increases,
particularly in the area of "umbrella"
liability and, in most cases, general liability.
Increases can be expected on renewals
through July of this year. And some types of insurance,
such as design-build professional
liability, will remain very difficult—if not
The current scenario is a replay of what
happened in 1976, when falling premiums, rising
losses and increasing inflation caused the
insurance industry to sharply withdraw from
the market. In 1975 and 76, the industry