UK mutual and cooperative insurers significantly outperformed their counterparts in the total UK insurance market in 2021, according to the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation’s latest UK Market InSights, a joint report by ICMIF and the Association of Financial Mutuals (AFM).
The sector saw annual growth of 17.1% in FY 2021, compared to total UK insurance market growth of 8.9%, a figure which represents the eighth year of positive growth for the sector in the last decade.
Key findings on the UK mutual insurance sector:
- UK mutuals wrote a combined GBP 22.8 billion in insurance premiums in 2021.
- GBP 14.2 billion in life business (2020: GBP 11.1 billion), & GBP 8.6 billion in non-life business (2020: GBP 8.4 billion).
- 7.9% share held of the total UK insurance market (2020: 7.3%, 2007: 4.4%).
- GBP 202.1 billion assets held.
Ben Telfer, ICMIF Senior Vice-President, Membership, who first presented these findings at the AFM Conference in October 2022, said: “The UK market has displayed great resilience in rebounding from the challenges of 2020 thanks to the diligent, innovative work of mutual and cooperative insurance companies in the UK sector today.
“The fact that 33.8 million policyholders are served by UK mutual and cooperative insurers today- a record high- is a testament to mutualism and the trust held between the sector and its member-policyholders.”
Martin Shaw, Chief Executive, Association of Financial Mutuals said: “This very valuable report reinforces the continued- and now growing- presence of mutuals in the UK insurance marketplace. More important perhaps than the bottom-line growth figures and market share though is that friendly societies and mutual insurers in the UK serve over 33 million policyholders. Many of these policies are held by people poorly served by mainstream insurers, or who have limited financial resources, or who are vulnerable, and our sector takes great pride in being open to everybody.”
The UK Market Insights 2022 report also includes further life and non-life analyses, past premium totals and market shares, and a breakdown of assets/ investments held by the sector since 2007.
Celebrating its centenary in 2022, the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) is the global association for cooperative and mutual insurers. As a membership organisation, the Federation’s mission is to help its member companies achieve their strategic goals and sustainably grow in their local markets.
Focusing on the key areas of mutuality, sustainability and business transformation, ICMIF’s networking and business intelligence activities leverage the knowledge, competencies and experience of its global network of member-owned and purpose-led insurance companies across 60 countries. Through its influence work, ICMIF represents the interests of global mutual/cooperative sector – accounting for approximately 26% of the global insurance market – to key stakeholders around the themes of resilience, disaster risk reduction, sustainable development and responsible investing.
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About the Association of Financial Mutuals
We represent insurance and healthcare providers that are owned by their customers, or which are established to serve a defined community (on a not-for-profit basis). Between them, mutual insurers manage the savings, pensions, protection and healthcare needs of over 30 million people in the UK and Ireland, collect annual premium income of £22 billion, and employ nearly 30,000 staff.
The nature of their ownership and the consequently lower prices, higher returns or better service that typically results, make mutuals accessible and attractive to consumers, and have been recognised by Parliament as worthy of continued support and promotion.