Ten year edition of ICMIF’s Global Mutual Market Share report: statistics confirm a decade of growth for the mutual and cooperative insurance sector

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

The mutual and cooperative insurance market has been the fastest-growing part of the global insurance industry in the 10-year period since the global financial crisis, according to the Global Mutual Market Share 10 report launched today by the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF). This is a special 10 year anniversary edition of the report.

  • Premium income of the global mutual/cooperative insurance sector grew by a total of 30% over 10 years
  • The global market share of mutual/cooperative insurers rose to 26.7% in 2017
  • 922 million members/policyholders were served by mutual/cooperative insurers in 2017
  • 1.16 million people employed by the sector in 2017 – a 24% growth since 2007

This anniversary edition of the report highlights that in the 10-year period since the onset of the financial crisis (2007 to 2017), premium income of the global mutual and cooperative insurance sector grew by a total of 30% compared to 17% growth of the total global insurance industry. As a result, the global market share of mutual and cooperative insurers rose from 24.0% in 2007 to 26.7% in 2017.

The report highlights 922 million members/policyholders being served by mutual/cooperative insurance companies in 2017, a 13% growth since 2012. The growing positive socio-economic impact of the mutual and cooperative sector was also evident in the increase in the number of people employed by the sector, which reached 1.16 million in 2017 – a 24% growth since 2007.

In the foreword of the report,  Hilde Vernaillen, Chair of ICMIF and CEO of Belgian cooperative insurer P&V Assurances, speaks of how the start of the last global financial crisis acted as a catalyst for growth of the cooperative and mutual insurance model: “At this financially volatile time, as consumer trust, consumer spending and interest rates plummeted, the cooperative/mutual insurance sector began to emerge, even flourish, outperforming the insurance industry average and capturing more market share. Additional qualitative research carried out by ICMIF during this period suggests that this positive performance is linked to consumers’ preference for providers that can demonstrate characteristics most commonly associated with cooperatives and mutuals: trustworthiness, security and service excellence.”

Global Mutual Market Share 10 is ICMIF’s 10th edition of the annual statistical report on the size and financial performance of the global mutual and cooperative insurance sector. The report includes a detailed analysis of the premium income, assets, investments, number of employees and number of members/policyholders of over 5,100 mutual and cooperative insurance companies in 77 countries.

Ms Vernaillen also highlighted the importance of the Federation’s extensive research on the mutual and cooperative sector, adding “The Global Mutual Market Share report is an important tool for ICMIF to hold evidence-based discussions about the socio-economic importance of mutual/cooperative insurers with legislators, regulators and policymakers. In emerging markets, where the lack of inclusive insurance impedes economic development, poverty reduction and disaster recovery, ICMIF continues its efforts to extend access to cooperative/mutual insurance. In developed markets, ICMIF and its members can make use of this report to make the case for due consideration and equitable treatment of the sector.”

Shaun Tarbuck, Chief Executive of ICMIF, added: “Now that we have reached the 10 year anniversary of the onset of the global financial crisis, it is hugely encouraging to see that the mutual and cooperative insurance sector is continuing to grow, and at a faster rate than the rest of the industry. The growth in market share is very positive, but equally so is the growth in membership numbers and the number of people employed by our sector. The mutual sector grew at a faster rate between 2007 and 2017 than the rest of the industry in Europe, North America, Latin America and Africa.

“Globally, over 5,100 mutual insurers collectively wrote USD 1.3 trillion in insurance premiums in 2017, the second highest level of premium volumes ever recorded by the mutual sector. Also, the mutual sector registered positive annual growth in nine of the previous 10 years since 2007,” Tarbuck concluded.