New Report on U.K. Insurance Market Issued

August 31, 2004

Dublin-based consulting firm Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com) announced the addition of a new “Insurance Companies Market Report 2004,” which provides an analysis of U.K. insurance companies.

Information is provided on the following: – Executive Summary- Contents- Market Definition – Market Size- Industry Background – Competitor Analysis- Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats- Buying Behaviour – Current Issues- The Global Market- Forecasts – Company Profiles- Further Sources.

“This Market Report examines the UK insurance market, which is broadly divided into two major sectors: long-term insurance (including life insurance, pensions, annuities, income protection insurance and critical illness insurance) and general insurance (including motor, property, general liability, accident and health, and pecuniary loss insurance),” said the announcement.

It also stressed the “enormous change” the U.K. market is experiencing, “as it struggles with rising costs and increased regulation, against a background of intensifying competition.” The report noted, however, that the market is growing with total net premium income up 2.1 percent in 2003 to £132.51 billion ($237.85 billion).

“During the 1990s, the long-term insurance sector showed the fastest growth but, since 2001, the general insurance sector has been growing more rapidly,” the bulletin continued. “However, long-term insurance still represents the majority of the market and is likely to do so for many years to come. Within general insurance, motor insurance is the most important sector.

“There are 806 companies authorised by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to carry out insurance in the UK. Around 354,000 people work in the industry as whole, including brokers and loss adjusters.

“The market is dominated by fewer than 20 companies, of which the largest have major market shares. The largest companies include: AEGON, Allianz Cornhill, Aviva, AXA, Churchill Insurance and Direct Line (both owned by The Royal Bank of Scotland Group — RBS), HBOS, Legal & General, Lloyds TSB, Prudential, Royal & Sun Alliance, Standard Life and Zurich Financial Services (ZFS).

“The industry is currently getting to grips with 14 new EU regulations, all of which will be in force by the beginning of 2008. This is taking up a considerable amount of time and will involve the development of new IT systems for many companies. Fraud is another major cause for concern within the industry.

“Continued steady growth in premium income has been forecasted between 2004 and 2008, with general insurance moving ahead more rapidly and thereby gaining share of the market. Within this sector, the main drivers of growth are expected to be employer’s liability, pecuniary loss and commercial property damage insurance, although some niche sectors will also show strong growth,” the report concluded.

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