UK Professional Indemnity Insurance Market Update 2019
Professional indemnity insurers are taking steps to address unsustainable levels of unprofitability caused by years of fierce competition and underpricing. In this saturated market, growth will continue to be largely driven by underlying economic performance and premium rate rises, which are anticipated to continue in 2020. Price rises and changing insurer appetites are leading to increased switching among SMEs at renewal, as well as shifts in the competitive landscape.
This report provides an in-depth analysis of the UK professional indemnity insurance market. It looks at market size as well as changes in premiums, claims, distribution, regulation, and future opportunities, including our proprietary GWP forecasts. It provides a thorough analysis of the distribution dynamics in the SME segment, leveraging findings from our 2019 UK SME Insurance Survey.
- The UK professional indemnity insurance market was worth 1.97bn in 2019, marking growth of 14.4%.
- We anticipate higher rates of growth to continue in 2020, although premium rate rises will be tempered by uncertain economic performance.
- There has been little growth in the penetration of professional indemnity insurance among SMEs. We estimate that 46-55% of SMEs have PII - a figure that has remained broadly the same over the last two years.
- SME switching levels have increased, with 13.5% of medium-sized companies changing provider in 2019.
Reasons to buy
- Understand the size of the market and the factors underlying its growth.
- Develop your proposition to target growth segments.
- Ensure you remain competitive as new innovations and insurance models begin to enter the market.
- Adapt your distribution strategy to ensure it is efficient and still meets customer purchasing habits.
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
1.1. Hard conditions prevail in the PII market
1.2. Key findings
1.3. Critical success factors
2. MARKET CONTEXT
2.2. Growth in the PII market was driven by hard conditions across multiple sectors in 2019
2.3. Growth in underlying demand for PII remains muted among traditional professions and slow for miscellaneous occupations
2.3.1. Growth in the number of potential policyholders in traditional professions remains muted
2.3.2. Consolidation continues to shape the face of traditional professions
2.3.3. Traditional profession turnover has continued to rise, indicating greater risk exposure for PI insurers
2.3.4. Over the last five years much of the growth in underlying demand has occurred among non-traditional professions and SMEs
2.3.5. Miscellaneous PII is increasingly saturated, not just among larger risks but also for SMEs
2.4. The impact of significant capacity withdrawal led to premium rate rises in 2019
2.4.1. Lloyds performance management initiatives have led to a significant reduction in capacity
2.4.2. Premium rates rose throughout 2019, particularly in the construction, solicitor, and IFA sectors
2.4.3. Spotlight on solicitors
2.4.4. Spotlight on construction
2.4.5. Spotlight on IFAs
2.5. Higher growth is expected in the market over the next couple of years
2.5.1. Rate increases are expected to continue in many areas of the PII market in 2020
2.5.2. UK PII GWP will continue to show healthier growth in 2020 and beyond
2.5.3. Considerable economic uncertainties could have significant implications for the PII market
2.5.4. Sectoral issues will also impact the future growth of the overall market
3. PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE AND SMES
3.2. PII penetration is stagnating
3.3. Four out of 10 SMEs providing advice do not hold PII
3.4. Brokers and organizations such as trade associations remain popular channels for purchasing PII
3.5. The internet is the favored platform for SMEs buying PII
3.6. Human interaction remains important for small companies
3.7. Switching has increased due to market conditions
3.8. Cyber risks remain a key issue, with clear cross-selling opportunities among small and medium companies that offer professional advice
3.8.1. Cyber-related PII risks continue to grow
3.8.2. The majority of SMEs with cyber cover also have PII
3.8.3. There are cross-selling opportunities among small and medium companies that offer professional advice
4.2. The leading PI insurers differ by sector
4.3. After a raft of withdrawals in 2018 and increased market scrutiny on PI profitability, Lloyds share of the UK PII market has shrunk
4.4. AXA and Hiscox are among the most selected insurers for SME professional indemnity cover
4.4.1. Hiscox has a well-established direct proposition, attracting sole traders
4.4.2. AXA is the market leader across other SME segments and has expanded its mid-market appetite
4.4.3. Zurich has gained market share
4.5. Hiscox remained the favored insurer for PII placement among brokers in 2019
5.1. Abbreviations and acronyms
5.2. Supplementary data
5.4.1. GlobalDatas 2019 UK Commercial Broker Survey
5.4.2. GlobalDatas 2019 UK SME Insurance Survey
5.4.3. Change in BEIS data presentation
5.5. Secondary sources
5.6. Further reading
List of Tables
Table 1: UK PII GWP, 2015-19e
Table 2: UK PII GWP, 2019e-23f
Table 3: PII switching levels and behavior at last renewal by size of SME, 2019
Table 4: Top insurers selected by SMEs purchasing PII, by share of responses, 2019
Table 5: Turnover by size of business in key traditional PI professions (m), 2014-18
Table 6: Number of businesses by size in key traditional PI professions, 2014-18
List of Figures
Figure 1: UK PII GWP had grown slowly since 2015, with more notable growth achieved in 2019
Figure 2: Growth in the number of employers within traditional PII professions remains muted in comparison to the private sector
Figure 3: Since 2015 average turnover has increased notably faster among traditional PII profession employers than among private sector employers
Figure 4: Premium rate rises will counter slower economic performance and lead to higher rates of growth for UK PII GWP
Figure 5: PII penetration levels are largely stagnant, but showed slight signs of decline in 2019
Figure 6: The majority of SMEs providing advice without PII do not think they need it
Figure 7: SMEs use a variety of channels when purchasing PII
Figure 8: Human interaction is important for small companies buying PII
Figure 9: Levels of shopping around for PI decrease in line with business size
Figure 10: A growing proportion of switchers are looking for increased coverage, more flexibility, and added risk management services
Figure 11: A notable proportion of small and medium companies that provide professional advice have cyber cover but not PII
Figure 12: Hiscox, HCC, and Markel remain brokers favored PI insurers
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