London Company Market Premiums Rise by 8.1% in 2018 to £28.4B ($34.7B)

October 10, 2019

Gross written premiums written by the London company market have increased by 8.1% to £28.437 billion ($34.7 billion) in 2018, according to a report published by the International Underwriting Association (IUA)

Gross written premium in London for 2018 was £19.559 billion ($23.9 billion) while a further £8.877 billion ($10.8 billion) was written in other locations but overseen and managed by London operations, said the IUA’s London Company Market Statistics Report, October 2018.

The report said the rise of 8.1% in 2018, or £2.123 billion ($2.6 billion), follows a 16% jump reported for 2017.

“Improved market conditions and more effective pricing strategies in a number of different business classes have clearly helped drive another healthy growth in premium across the company market sector,” said Dave Matcham, chief executive of the IUA. “Our members are pursuing effective business strategies to expand in specific sectors and have been successful in acquiring important new clients.”

He said this year’s research reveals increased income in both traditional lines of business such as marine hull and motor, as well as newer and emerging sectors like renewable energy and crisis management.

The London Company Market Statistics Report 2019 also considers the impact of Brexit, with many companies having established new insurance entities across continental Europe in advance of the original March 31 deadline for the UK to leave the EU. (The new deadline is Oct. 31).

The publication confirms recent media reports of new business being generated through European branches and the amount of controlled business written in Europe (excluding UK and Ireland) increased by 9.2% to a total of £4.890 billion ($6 billion) in 2018.

“The data returns for this year’s report cover a period before the implementation of most Brexit contingency plans. Such is the diversity of London market business models, however, it is already certain that Brexit will impact different firms in quite different ways,” Matcham continued.

“London is at the heart of an intricate web of cross-border business which is set to become even more complex,” he said.

“Insurers have selected a variety of different options for new European offices as part of their Brexit contingency plans and no single continental insurance hub appears to be emerging,” said the report.

Other report findings include:

  • A total of £3.096 billion ($3.8 billion) was underwritten by delegated authority arrangements
  • Premium underwritten in London is predominantly facultative/direct (78%) with treaty business accounting for 22%. Non-treaty income breaks down as 71% direct placements and 21% facultative.
  • Property remains the largest sector, followed by liability and marine, but professional lines is increasing and now makes up 13% of market premium.
  • Cyber liability business increased in line with the overall market total to £92 million ($112.4 million).
  • Most company market business written in London originates in the U.K. and Ireland (56%), followed by continental Europe (17%) and the U.S. (14%).

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