Recent Study: United Kingdom Insurance Report 2014

From: Fast Market Research, Inc.
Published: Thu Jan 09 2014

As of late 2013, both the non-life (re)insurers and the life companies are proactively working to boost profits (and, in many cases, premiums) in a global economic and financial environment that remains quite challenging.

Key Insights And Key Risks

Strategies vary from company to company but, as is apparent from their latest published results, include: acquisitions; development of new products; development of new channels (and, in particular, affinity marketing); realignment of portfolios, even if this means that premium growth is curtailed in the short-term; divestments of non-core businesses; and, even greater discipline in underwriting.

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As expected, the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) has emerged as a key issue for many companies that are providing life insurance products and pensions. In the short-term, RDR will continue to present challenges, because it implies massive changes for the UK's community of advisers - who are important distributors' of the insurers products. In the long-run, it is undoubtedly an opportunity. It will encourage open architecture and the provision of savings solutions via platforms, an element of the UK's financial services infrastructure in which the insurers are leaders. RDR is clearly good for consumers, and should serve to boost public perceptions of organised savings, including the life insurance companies. In their Interim Management Statements for the first three quarters or 2013, several of the leading life companies made it clear that they benefited from the changes.

Both Lloyd's and the major non-life companies have highlighted three broad themes. One is the greater need to rely on underwriting profits - because investment earnings continue to be crimped by very low interest rates. The second is the generally benign catastrophe loss experience. The third is the downwards pressure on prices and rates. In the globally-connected UK non-life (re)insurance markets, this is substantially because of an increase in the amount of capital worldwide that is available for underwriting. Some of this capital has come from parties who have not traditionally been involved with insurance.

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You may also be interested in these related reports:

- United States Insurance Report Q1 2014
- Non-life Insurance - Global Group of Eight (G8) Industry Guide
- Non-Life Insurance in the United Kingdom
- United Kingdom Agribusiness Report Q1 2014
- Non-Life Insurance: Global Industry Guide
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