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Insurance in UK
With the stiff competition in the insurance market, insurance premium rates remains competitive and varies between companies. This has created an advantage for the consumers and it's good for you to to shop around before fulfilling your insurance needs. Commonly you should get quotes from different insurers, using an insurance broker, or a comparison website online. Price maybe an important factor but make sure the policy meets your needs. In some instances, it may be worthwhile for you to pay extra in exchange for a comprehensive cover and protection.
In 2012, there are 1,247 companies authorised to carry out insurance business in the UK, an increase of 2.80% or 34 companies compares to 1,213 companies in 2011.
The UK insurance industry is the largest in Europe insurance and the third largest in the world, employing around 320,000 people. The insurance industry is a vital part of the UK economy, managing investments amounting £1.8 trillion, equivalent to 25% of the UK’s total net worth. The insurance industry is also one of this country’s major exporters, with about 26% of its net premium income coming from overseas business.

Premiums and Claims

In 2012, the total gross written premiums for insurance in UK is €241.702bn, an increase of €28.25bn or 13.3%% compares to €213.452bn in 2011(increase 5.8% at constant exchange rates).
The total benefits and claims paid for insurance in UK in 2012 is €255.243bn, an increase of €35.186bn or 15.99% compares to €220.057bn in 2011(increase 8.4% at constant exchange rates).
On a per capita basis, an average of €3,821 was spent on insurance in UK in 2012, €407 more compares to €3,414 in 2011.
Insurance penetration in UK increased on average from 12.05% in 2011 to 12.55% in 2012.
UK insurers total investment portfolio has increase from €1,558.904bn in 2011 to €1,797.489bn in 2012, an increase of €238.585bn or 15.30%(increase 7.7% at constant exchange rates).


Non-Life Insurance in UK

In 2012, the total gross written premiums for non-life insurance in UK is €68.353bn, an increase of €4.477bn or 7.01% compares to €63.876bn in 2011(0.0% at constant exchange rates).

The total claims paid for non-life insurance in UK in 2012 is €42.747bn, an increase of €1.202bn or 2.89% compares to €41.545bn in 2011(decrease 3.9% at constant exchange rates).

On a per capita basis, an average of €1,081 was spent on non-life insurance in UK in 2012, €59 more compares to €1,022 in 2011.

Non-Life insurance penetration in UK decreased marginally on average from 3.61% in 2011 to 3.55% in 2012.

UK non-life insurers total investment portfolio has increase from €88.089bn in 2011 to €98.903bn in 2012, an increase of €10.814bn or 12.28%(increase 4.9% at constant exchange rates).


How people buy insurance

There are many ways to buy insurance, and this varies considerably according to the product being purchased. In general insurance, the proportion of people buying insurance through brokers is 37% in 2012(40% in 2011), 12% is now sold by banks and building societies(12% in 2011). The rest 35% is sold direct(31% in 2011), 11% is sold by by retailers/affinity groups/utility groups(8% in 2011), 4% is sold by company agents(8% in 2011) and 1% is sold by others.
76% of long-term savings, life and pensions business was sold through Independent Financial Advisers in 2012(78% in 2011), and 17% through advisers selling the products of one or a limited range of insurance companies. The remaining 7% was sold without advice.

Insurance in UK 2010-2011

In 2011, there are 1,213 companies authorised to carry out insurance business in the UK, a decrease of 7.69% or 101 companies compares to 1,314 companies in 2010.
The UK insurance industry is the largest in Europe insurance and the third largest in the world, accounting for 7% of total worldwide premium income. The insurance industry is a vital part of the UK economy, managing investments amounting £1.8 trillion(£1.7 trillion in 2010), equivalent to 26% of the UK’s total net worth. The insurance industry is also one of this country’s major exporters, with about 30% of its net premium income coming from overseas business.

Premiums and Claims
In 2011, total net premiums (written premium less reinsurance premiums paid by the insurer) for general insurance(non-life insurance) amounted to £33.3 billion, an increase of £1.3 billion or 4.06% compares to £32.0 billion in 2010. This breaks down as follows:

  • Motor: £11.7 billion, an increase of £1.1 billion or 10.38% of compares to £10.6 billion in 2010
  • Property: £8.6 billion, an increase of £0.2 billion or 2.38% of compares to £8.4 billion in 2010
  • Accident & Health (Personal Accident and Private Medical Insurance): £4.42 billion, a decrease of £0.02 billion or 0.45% of compares to £4.44 billion in 2010
  • General Liability: £3.1 billion, an increase of £0.1 billion or 3.33% of compares to £3.0 billion in 2010
  • Miscellaneous & Pecuniary Loss (e.g. Payment Protection, Legal Expenses, other financial loss): £3.2 billion, an increase of £0.1 billion or 3.23% of compares to £3.1 billion in 2010
  • Marine, Aviation & Transport (MAT) and Reinsurance: £2.3 billion, a decrease of £0.2 billion or 8% of compares to £2.5 billion in 2010

In 2011, claims breaks down as follows:
  • Motor: £9.3 billion, a decrease of £0.9 billion or 8.82% of compares to £10.2 billion in 2010
  • Property: £4.5 billion, a decrease of £0.7 billion or 13.46% of compares to £5.2 billion in 2010

Life insurance premiums amounted to £15.2 billion in 2011, a decrease of 27.27% or £5.7 billion compares to £20.9 billion in 2010. £35.1 billion benefits paid for life insurance in 2010, a decrease of 3.31% or £1.2 billion compares to £36.3 billion in 2010.

How people buy insurance
There are many ways to buy insurance, and this varies considerably according to the product being purchased. In general insurance, the proportion of people buying insurance through brokers is 40% in 2011(37% in 2010), 12% is now sold by banks and building societies(12% in 2010). The rest 31% is sold direct(31% in 2010), 8% is sold by by retailers/affinity groups/utility groups(11% in 2010), 8% is sold by company agents(8% in 2010).
78% of life and pensions business was sold through Independent Financial Advisers in 2011(76% in 2010), and 13% through advisers selling the products of one or a limited range of insurance companies. The remaining 9% was sold without advice

Insurance density and penetration
On a per capita basis, an average of €3,296 was spent on insurance in UK in 2011, €40 less compares to €3,336 in 2010.
Insurance penetration in UK decreased on average from 12.10% in 2010 to 11.79% in 2011.

On a per capita basis, an average of €2,301 was spent on life insurance in UK in 2011, €48 less compares to €2,349 in 2010.
Life insurance penetration in UK decreased on average from 8.52% in 2010 to 8.23% in 2011.

On a per capita basis, an average of €996 was spent on non-life insurance in UK in 2011, €10 more compares to €986 in 2010.
Non-life insurance penetration in UK decreased on average from 3.58% in 2010 to 3.56% in 2011.


Insurance in UK 2009-2010

In 2010, there are 1,314 companies authorised to carry out insurance business in the UK, an increase of 40.69% or 380 companies compares to 934 companies in 2009. Out of these, 1,005 companies is in the general insurance sector only(such as motor, household, health and commercial insurance), an increase of 43.37% or 304 companies compares to 701 companies in 2009; 309 companies is in the long-term business only(such as life insurance and pensions), an increase of 62.63% or 119 companies compares to 190 companies in 2009.
The UK insurance industry is the largest in Europe insurance and the third largest in the world, accounting for 7% of total worldwide premium income(8% of total worldwide premium income in 2009). The insurance industry is a vital part of the UK economy, managing investments amounting £1.7 trillion(£1.6 trillion in 2009), equivalent to 26% of the UK’s total net worth(24% of the UK’s total net worth in 2009). The insurance industry is also one of this country’s major exporters, with 20% of its net premium income coming from overseas business.

Premiums and Claims
In 2010, total net premiums (written premium less reinsurance premiums paid by the insurer) for general insurance(non-life insurance) amounted to £32.0 billion, an increase of £1.2 billion or 3.90% compares to £30.8 billion in 2009. This breaks down as follows:

  • Motor: £10.6 billion, an increase of £0.7 billion or 7.07% of compares to £9.9 billion in 2009
  • Property: £8.4 billion, an increase of £0.2 billion or 2.44% of compares to £8.2 billion in 2009
  • Accident & Health (Personal Accident and Private Medical Insurance): £4.44 billion, an increase of £0.04 billion or 0.91% of compares to £4.40 billion in 2009
  • General Liability: £3.0 billion, a decrease of £0.2 billion or 6.25% of compares to £3.2 billion in 2009
  • Miscellaneous & Pecuniary Loss (e.g. Payment Protection, Legal Expenses, other financial loss): £3.1 billion, an increase of £0.4 billion or 14.81% of compares to £2.7 billion in 2009
  • Marine, Aviation & Transport (MAT) and Reinsurance: £2.5 billion, an increase of £0.2 billion or 8.70% of compares to £2.3 billion in 2009

In 2010, claims breaks down as follows:
  • Motor: £10.2 billion, an increase of £0.8 billion or 8.51% of compares to £9.4 billion in 2009
  • Property: £5.2 billion, an increase of £0.7 billion or 15.56% of compares to £4.5 billion in 2009

Life insurance premiums amounted to £20.9 billion in 2010, a decrease of 5% or £1.1 billion compares to £22 billion in 2009. £36.3 billion benefits paid for life insurance in 2010, a decrease of 11.25% or £4.6 billion compares to £40.9 billion in 2009.

How people buy insurance
There are many ways to buy insurance, and this varies considerably according to the product being purchased. In general insurance, the proportion of people buying insurance through brokers is 37% in 2010(37% in 2009), 12% is now sold by banks and building societies(13% in 2009). The rest 31% is sold direct(33% in 2009), 11% is sold by by retailers/affinity groups/utility groups(8% in 2009), 8% is sold by company agents(8% in 2009).
76% of life and pensions business was sold through Independent Financial Advisers in 2010(68% in 2009), and 13% through advisers selling the products of one or a limited range of insurance companies. The remaining 11% was sold without advice.

Insurance density and penetration
On a per capita basis, an average of €3,314 was spent on insurance in UK in 2010, €27 more compares to €3,287 in 2009.
Insurance penetration in UK decreased on average from 13.03% in 2009 to 12.17% in 2010.

On a per capita basis, an average of €2,334 was spent on life insurance in UK in 2010, €72 less compares to €2,406 in 2009.
Life insurance penetration in UK decreased on average from 9.54% in 2009 to 8.57% in 2010.

On a per capita basis, an average of €980 was spent on non-life insurance in UK in 2010, €99 more compares to €881 in 2009.
Non-life insurance penetration in UK increased on average from 3.49% in 2009 to 3.60% in 2010.


Insurance in UK 2008-2009

In 2009, there are 934 companies authorised to carry out insurance business in the UK, a decrease of 3.91% or 38 companies compares to 972 companies in 2008. Out of these, 701 companies is in the general insurance sector only(such as motor, household, health and commercial insurance), a decrease of 4.63% or 34 companies compares to 735 companies in 2008; 190 companies is in the long-term business only(such as life insurance and pensions), a decrease of 1.55% or 3 companies compares to 193 companies in 2008; and 43 is running both both, general and long-term business, a decrease of 2.27% or 1 companies compares to 44 companies in 2008.
The UK insurance industry is the largest in Europe insurance and the third largest in the world, accounting for 8% of total worldwide premium income(11% of total worldwide premium income in 2008). The insurance industry is a vital part of the UK economy, managing investments amounting £1.6 trillion(£1.5 trillion in 2008), equivalent to 24% of the UK’s total net worth(21% of the UK’s total net worth in 2008). The insurance industry is also one of this country’s major exporters, with 20% of its net premium income coming from overseas business.

Premiums and Claims
In 2009, total net premiums (written premium less reinsurance premiums paid by the insurer) for general insurance(non-life insurance) amounted to £30.8 billion, a decrease of £3.1 billion or 9.14% compares to £33.9 billion in 2008. This breaks down as follows:

  • Motor: £9.9 billion, a decrease of £0.8 billion or 7.48% of compares to £10.7 billion in 2008
  • Property: £8.2 billion, a decrease of £0.6 billion or 6.82% of compares to £8.8 billion in 2008
  • Accident & Health (Personal Accident and Private Medical Insurance): £4.4 billion, a decrease of £0.2 billion or 4.35% of compares to £4.6 billion in 2008
  • General Liability: £3.2 billion, a decrease of £0.6 billion or 15.79% of compares to £3.8 billion in 2008
  • Miscellaneous & Pecuniary Loss (e.g. Payment Protection, Legal Expenses, other financial loss): £2.7 billion, a decrease of £1 billion or 27.03% of compares to £3.7 billion in 2008
  • Marine, Aviation & Transport (MAT) and Reinsurance: £2.3 billion, a decrease of £0.1 billion or 4.55% of compares to £2.2 billion in 2008

Between 1999 and 2009, claims paid have increased by 44%, from £15.4 billion in 1999 to £22.2 billion in 2009. There is a slight increase of £0.2 billion or 0.91% in claims paid compares to £22 billion in 2008. However, it is a high figures considering the 9.76% decrease in net premiums collected in 2009. In 2009, claims broke down as follows: ul>
  • Motor: £9.4 billion, an increase of £0.7 billion or 8.05% of compares to £8.7 billion in 2008
  • Property: £4.5 billion, an increase of £0.3 billion or 6.25% of compares to £4.8 billion in 2008
  • Accident & Health: £3.3 billion, an increase of £0.1 billion or 3.13% of compares to £3.2 billion in 2008
  • General Liability: £2.3 billion, a decrease of £0.4 billion or 14.81% of compares to £2.7 billion in 2008
  • Miscellaneous & Pecuniary Loss: £1.5 billion, the same amount as 2008
  • Marine, Aviation & Transport (MAT) and Reinsurance: £1.2 billion, an increase £0.1 billion or 9.09% of compares to £1.1 billion in 2008

  • Life insurance premiums amounted to £22 billion in 2009, a significant decrease of 41.64% or £15.7 billion compares to £37.7 billion in 2008. £40.9 billion benefits paid for life insurance in 2009, a decrease of 34.98% or £22 billion compares to £62.9 billion in 2008.

    How people buy insurance
    There are many ways/channels to buy insurance. People’s buying habits have changed over the last ten years. In general insurance, the change is most clear for retail sales: the proportion of people buying insurance through brokers has fallen from 52% in 1999 to 37% in 2009(35% in 2008). In contrast, 13% is now sold by banks and building societies(17% in 2008) – 10 years ago the figure was 5%. The rest 33% is sold direct(32% in 2008), 8% is sold by by retailers/affinity groups/utility groups(8% in 2008), 8% is sold by company agents(7% in 2008), and 1% via other channels(1% in 2008).
    68% of life and pensions business was sold through Independent Financial Advisers in 2009(69% in 2008), compared to 58% sold in this way in 1999.

    Insurance density and penetration
    On a per capita basis, an average of €3,232 was spent on insurance in UK in 2009, €411 less compares to €3,643 in 2008.
    Insurance penetration in UK decreased on average from 15.67% in 2008 to 15.39% in 2009.

    On a per capita basis, an average of €2,244 was spent on life insurance in UK in 2009, €436 less compares to €2,680 in 2008.
    Life insurance penetration in UK decreased on average from 12.06% in 2008 to 10.68% in 2009.

    On a per capita basis, an average of €988 was spent on non-life insurance in UK in 2009, €25 more compares to €963 in 2008.
    Non-life insurance penetration in UK increased on average from 4.34% in 2008 to 4.70% in 2009.

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