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Market Research Report

UK Professional Indemnity Market Review 2017

Published by GlobalData Product code 447326
Published Content info 42 Pages
Delivery time: 1-2 business days
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UK Professional Indemnity Market Review 2017
Published: January 5, 2018 Content info: 42 Pages

Soft market conditions that have characterized the UK professional indemnity insurance (PII) market in recent years may finally be easing to a stop. The winds of change are starting to blow, with premium rate rises and a reduction in capacity widely anticipated in 2018.

As rates begin to rise, insurers need a clear rating strategy and differentiated propositions in order to avoid losing share in target markets. Close relationships with and understanding of end customers and brokers will be key.Cyber risks cover a broad umbrella of perils, with some elements of overlap with PII. The challenge for insurers and brokers is to develop a clear product and sales strategy that promotes and clarifies the complementary nature of both of these types of cover.

Insurers and brokers alike need to build sleek and convenient online propositions to accommodate the demands of the modern SME, and in particular to capture growth in the sole trader, micro, and miscellaneous professional indemnity sectors. For the latter in particular, digital forms a core element of their own businesses, and the insurance industry needs to meet their expectations.

Key findings include in this report -

  • The UK PII market is estimated to have been worth £1.64bn in 2017, marking growth of only 0.5% due to continued soft rates and the general economic slowdown. Higher rates of growth are anticipated to 2021, although premium rate rises will be tempered by uncertain economic performance.
  • "Traditional" PII is mature and saturated. In addition, the number of businesses in traditional professions declined or stagnated in the year to 2017, falling significantly below overall private sector growth.
  • Much of the growth in underlying demand for PII is occurring among "non-traditional" professions, in particular among SMEs. Our 2017 UK SME Insurance Survey estimates that 55-60% of SMEs have PII - a figure that is slowly rising.
  • Hiscox and AXA are the largest UK PII SME insurers.

The report "UK Professional Indemnity Market Review 2017", provides an in-depth analysis of the UK professional indemnity insurance market. It looks at market size 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.

Companies mentioned in this report:AIG, Zurich, Travelers, QBE, AmTrust, AXA, Lloyd's


  • The UK professional indemnity market is estimated to have been worth £1.64bn in 2017.
  • Much of the growth in underlying demand is occurring among non-traditional professions, and in particular among SMEs.
  • Hiscox and AXA are the largest UK PII SME insurers.

Reasons to buy

  • Benchmark yourself against the rest of the market.
  • Ensure you remain competitive as new innovations and insurance models begin to enter the market.
  • Adapt your distribution strategy to ensure it is efficient and still meets customer purchasing habits.
Table of Contents
Product Code: FS0093IA

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

  • 1.1. Market summary 2
  • 1.2. Key findings 2
  • 1.3. Critical success factors 2
  • 2.1. Introduction 8
  • 2.1.1. The PII market 8
  • 2.2. The size of the PII market has remained stable 8
  • 2.3. Underlying demand for PII remains saturated among traditional professions, with greater growth in miscellaneous occupations 10
  • 2.3.1. Regulatory, financial, and competitive pressures have driven consolidation, leading to stagnant or declining business numbers in the legal and financial advice sectors 10
  • 2.3.2. Consolidation has impacted demand in the small- and medium-sized accountancy sector, while the number of audit firms continues to decline 10
  • 2.3.3. Growth in the number of architecture and engineering firms has outstripped other areas of traditional PII 11
  • 2.3.4. Consolidation has put pressure on professional indemnity insurers, while sole traders have required a different approach 13
  • 2.3.5. While growth in traditional PII policyholder numbers may be slowing, turnover has continued to rise, indicating greater risk exposure for professional indemnity insurers 14
  • 2.3.6. Much of the growth in underlying demand is occurring among non-traditional professions and SMEs 15
  • 2.3.7. Technology, management consultancy, and contractors are all areas of growth 16
  • 2.3.8. PII is believed to be fairly saturated among larger risks, with most new business emerging among SMEs 17
  • 2.4. Premium rates remained under significant pressure in 2017, but signs of a turnaround are on the cards 18
  • 2.4.1. Strong competition has placed unsustainable pressure on premium rates in recent years 18
  • 2.4.2. There have been some indications that the market may be about to turn, with less willingness to reduce rates in 2017 18
  • 2.4.3. Pockets of rate rises were in evidence in 2017 as a result of sector-specific dynamics 18
  • 2.5. Profitability has reached unsustainable levels 19
  • 2.5.1. The major factors causing a drag on profitability have been persistent rate reductions and an increase in claims frequency and severity 19
  • 2.6. The issues facing the wider market are brought into sharp relief in the solicitor space 20
  • 2.6.1. Solicitor PII rates have continued to fall, with highly competitive October 2017 renewals 20
  • 2.6.2. Profitability challenges mean rates are expected to increase in 2018 20
  • 2.7. Higher growth is expected in the PII market over the next couple of years 21
  • 2.7.1. Rate increases are expected in many areas of the market in 2018 21
  • 2.7.2. Demand for PII will continue to grow, but will be countered by the economic slowdown 21
  • 2.7.3. UK PII GWP will show healthier growth in 2018 and beyond 21
  • 2.7.4. While predictions for future economic performance are fraught with uncertainty, there are some concerning indications for the PII market 23
  • 2.7.5. Sectoral issues could also impact the future growth of the overall market 24
  • 2.8. Cyber remains a key emerging issue 25
  • 2.8.1. Cyber-related PII claims continue to grow 25
  • 2.8.2. Silent cyber risks are a focus for the PRA, although insurers feel clear about coverage 25
  • 2.8.3. Duplication of cover and clarity on sales messages remains an important issue 25
  • 3.1. Introduction 26
  • 3.2. Just under a third of SMEs providing advice do not hold PII 26
  • 3.3. Having purchased professional indemnity cover, 10% of SMEs find it difficult to understand 28
  • 3.4. Brokers remain the most popular channel for purchasing PII, but other channels are snapping at their heels 29
  • 3.5. The internet is the favored platform for SMEs buying PII 30
  • 3.6. Over half of SMEs with PII could be described as price sensitive 31
  • 3.7. The majority of SMEs with cyber cover also have PII 32
  • 4.1. Introduction 34
  • 4.1.1. AIG and Zurich were the leading company market PII insurers in 2015 34
  • 4.1.2. Insurers have withdrawn from certain sectors in recent years, with signs of a capacity contraction meaning more such announcements are likely 34
  • 4.1.3. Travelers, QBE, and AmTrust lead the way in solicitors PII 35
  • 4.2. AXA and Hiscox fight it out as SMEs' most selected insurer for professional indemnity cover 35
  • 4.3. Hiscox was the favored insurer for PII placement among brokers in 2017 37
  • 5. APPENDIX 38
  • 5.1. Abbreviations and acronyms 38
  • 5.2. Definitions 38
  • 5.2.1. SMEs 38
  • 5.3. Methodology 39
  • 5.3.1. Primary and secondary research 39
  • 5.3.2. GlobalData's 2017 UK Commercial Broker Survey 39
  • 5.3.3. GlobalData's 2017 UK SME Insurance Survey 39
  • 5.4. Bibliography 40
  • 5.5. Further reading 41

List of Tables

List of Tables

  • Table 1: UK PII GWP (£m), 2013-17e 9
  • Table 2: Number of businesses by size in key traditional professional indemnity professions, 2013-17 13
  • Table 3: UK PII GWP (£m) and growth (%), 2013-21f 23
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