Mutual and cooperative insurers continue to expand their global reach
The increasingly positive socio-economic impact of the global mutual and cooperative insurance industry was further evident in the latest Global Mutual Market Share 2014 report published by the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF).
According to the latest ICMIF data, the number of people protected by mutual and cooperative insurance (as members or policyholders) grew to 955 million in 2014, up from 923 million in 2013. As employers, mutual and cooperative insurers collectively employed 1.11 million worldwide in 2014, a figure that has increased by more than 20% since before the global financial crisis (2007: 0.92 million).
These latest figures from ICMIF form part of the Federation’s Global Mutual Market Share research, a market intelligence report on the size and performance of the global mutual and cooperative insurance industry. This research by ICMIF features an analysis of the premium income, assets and investments of 5,000 mutual and cooperative insurance companies from 77 countries around the world.
In terms of premium revenue, mutual and cooperative insurers reported record aggregate premiums volumes for the seventh consecutive year in 2014, writing USD 1.3 trillion in insurance premiums. Since the onset of the crisis, mutual and cooperative insurers grew their premium income by 30% between 2007 and 2014, whilst the total insurance market only increased by 13.6% during the same period. As a result, the global market share of the mutual/ cooperative sector grew from 23.7% in 2007 to 27.0% in 2014.
Commenting on the report, Anders Sundström, Chair of ICMIF, said “The mutual and cooperative insurance sector has maintained strong levels of financial growth and market share in 2014 across the vast majority of insurance markets, while increasing its social impact, both as an insurer and an employer. These figures help us to promote cooperatives/ mutual insurers as preferred insurance providers, and demonstrate their contribution to long-term socio-economic growth.”
Shaun Tarbuck, Chief Executive of ICMIF, commented how the increase in mutual and cooperative insurers’ market share since the start of the global financial crisis highlighted the strong benefits of the mutual and cooperative business model. “There has been a shift in consumers’ buying behaviour since the financial crisis, and this has given the mutual and cooperative insurance model a competitive advantage against shareholder-owned insurance companies. Mutual and cooperative insurers tend to have a greater level of trust and customer satisfaction associated with them, as their intentions are closely aligned with that of the policyholder (their members). Also, mutual and cooperative insurers benefit from a long term perspective and can be run to protect the interest of the business and its customers, unlike joint-stock companies, which are under pressure to generate short-term profits for external shareholders.”
The report also demonstrated the financial strength of mutual and cooperative insurers, with record levels of assets reported in 2014 (USD 8.3 trillion), representing approximately a third of the insurance industry’s total asset values in developed markets. Investment assets of the mutual and cooperative sector also reached their highest ever in 2014 (USD 6.9 trillion).
Mr Sundström added, “This latest statistical research clearly demonstrates the mutual and cooperative sector’s socio-economic relevance; it is a sector committed to putting people and the planet before profit, and to protect lives and livelihoods”