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What happens with the increased insurance premiums collected when there are no major catastrophes?
A couple of years ago, Florida was hit by several hurricanes in close succession. Lots of people made insurance claims, and not long after that, insurance premiums went up.
Same with Hurricane Katrina – the Gulf Coast is paying much more for insurance coverage after Katrina.
But last year and this year (so far, it’s early) have been VERY quiet years for hurricane damage in the South. (Yes, there was Sandy in the NY/NJ and mid-Atlantic areas, but those are not in the South.)
The insurance companies have been collecting gobs of increased premiums in the South to ostensibly pay off people who have suffered in the area. Fine. But in a benign hurricane season, the insurance companies are collecting a sizable surplus.
Since insurance rates are supposed to (in part) be based on locational risk, should one expect rates to do down (or at least stay flat) in areas where hurricanes have not hit?