For many years now, the UK’s professional indemnity (PI) insurance market has been over-capacitated and increasingly marginal. Current market conditions are difficult to endure at both ends of the scale, with the incumbents finding it difficult to maximize any opportunity for expansion, while new entrants are offering rates so low that survival would be difficult should there be an onslaught of claims. The PI market is one of the more stagnant of the commercial lines and little can be expected in the way of growth over the coming years.
- Our estimate for the size of the PI market stood at £1.71bn in 2015.
- Insurers are beginning to see a wave of claims from certain areas associated with the financial services industry, such as investment and accountancy.
- 34% of businesses offering advice don’t hold a PI insurance policy.
- AXA is the standout insurance brand in the PI space
This report provides an in-depth analysis of the UK professional indemnity insurance market. It looks at market size and profitability as well as changes in premiums, claims, distribution, regulations, and future opportunities. It provides a thorough overview of the market along with a GWP forecast for the coming years.
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Figure 1: Total PI market GWP continues to hover around the £1.7bn mark
- Figure 2: After another cut, UK interest rates should gradually increase over the next few years
- Figure 3: The market is forecast to reach £1.86bn by 2020
- Figure 4: Over one third of SMEs offering professional advice do not hold adequate cover
- Figure 5: Almost two thirds of SMEs providing advice go without PI cover as they don't think it's required
- Figure 6: PI cover remains among the least understood commercial insurance products
- Figure 7: Brokers are central to PI insurance purchase among SMEs
- Figure 8: SMEs prefer to purchase PI insurance online via a PC
- Figure 9: AXA is the most selected PI provider among SMEs
- Table 1: UK professional indemnity insurance market GWP forecast (£m), 2015-20f
- Table 2: Top 10 insurers by GWP within the PI insurance (including directors' and officers' and errors and omissions) market (£000s), 2012-15
- Table 3: Top 10 insurers for PI insurance placement, by surveyed broker responses (%), 2016
- EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
- 1.1. Key findings
- 1.2. Critical success factors
- 2 MARKET CONTEXT
- 2.1. Introduction
- 2.2. Market GWP has remained flat over recent years
- 2.2.1. 2016 total PI market premiums remain at the £1.7bn mark
- 2.2.2. Accountancy and financial advice are the only segments in which rates are hardening
- 2.2.3. Promising signs for the UK economy but a rise in interest rates remains some way off
- 2.3. Minimal growth is expected over the coming years
- 2.3.1. Market rates have fallen to an unsustainable low
- 2.3.2. The solicitors market ranks third in size for PI, but claims are costly and contentious
- 2.3.3. Small, incremental market growth is expected in the coming years
- 2.3.4. Margins remain tight as the market's COR is positioned just shy of the breakeven point
- 2.4. The PI insurance market will be influenced by several external factors
- 2.4.1. Claims against disingenuous tax relief schemes will blight the market
- 2.4.2. The market cannot escape the overlap with cyber risks
- 3 PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY INSURANCE AND SMES
- 3.1. PI remains an obscure product which insurers must aim to clarify
- 3.1.1. Over one third of SMEs still do not hold PI cover
- 3.1.2. PI and cyber cover are among the least understood policies
- 3.2. Brokers dominate PI distribution but should be wary of other channels
- 3.2.1. Brokers remain the first point of call for PI purchase
- 3.2.2. The rise of online trading is seeing more providers cater to low-level business
- 3.2.3. Purchasing PI cover online is the preferred option among SMEs
- 4 COMPETITION
- 4.1. A select few insurers stand out in the PI market
- 4.1.1. AXA leads the way as the most selected insurer by SMEs for PI cover
- 4.1.2. AIG is estimated to have led the market by GWP in 2015
- 4.1.3. Brokers favor Hiscox for placement of PI business
- 5 APPENDIX
- 5.1. Abbreviations and acronyms
- 5.2. Definitions
- 5.2.1. CAGR
- 5.2.2. COR
- 5.2.3. Gross premium
- 5.2.4. SME
- 5.2.5. Written premiums
- 5.3. Methodology
- 5.3.1. Primary and secondary research
- 5.3.2. GlobalData's 2016 UK Commercial Broker Survey
- 5.3.3. GlobalData's 2016 UK SME Insurance Survey
- 5.4. Bibliography
- 5.5. Further reading