Market InSights Reports 2012: Europe

European mutual and cooperative insurers continue to grow regional market share

The European mutual and cooperative sector has significantly outperformed the rest of the regional insurance market since the onset of the Eurozone financial crisis, accordingly to figures published by the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF).

Between 2007 and 2012, European mutual and cooperative insurers recorded an overall premium growth of 20%, whilst the total insurance market decline by 6.5% during the same period. As a result, the mutual/cooperative sector’s share of the total regional market grew from 22.1% in 2007 to 28.4% in 2012, making it the fastest-growing part of the regional industry since the crisis.

The latest figures are from ICMIF’s Market InSights: Europe 2012, a detailed market-specific report compiled using the data from ICMIF’s Global Mutual Market Share research. The first series of Market InSights reports were launched last year, with the updated reports based on 2012 year-end financial data being published throughout 2014. The latest Market InSights: Europe report has also been produced in conjunction with the Association of Mutual Insurers and Insurance Cooperatives in Europe (AMICE).

The report includes a detailed analysis of growth trends of mutual and cooperative insurance companies using financial data from 2007 to 2012. The report also includes a premium split by lines of life and non-life business, a definitive list of the largest regional mutual/cooperative insurers by premium income, and a detailed analysis of the mutual and cooperative insurance sector in European Union (EU) markets.

The report also includes further analysis into the size and reach of the European mutual and cooperative insurance sector, with EUR 2.4 trillion of assets held by mutual/cooperative insurers, over 370,000 people employed within the sector, and over 330 million member/policyholders served by approximately 3,000 mutual and cooperative insurance companies in Europe.

Hilde Vernaillen, CEO of the P&V Group (Belgium), President of AMICE and Board member of ICMIF, commented: “Whether looking at market developments in 2012 over 2011 or taking the longer-term view since 2007: our sector constantly outperforms the rest of the market – mostly joint-stock company insurers. Or in other words, mutual and cooperative insurance is regarded by more and more customers as more valuable for them. The results of the statistical analysis are indeed encouraging and will help us tremendously to convince those who are not yet convinced of the strength of our sector and business model”

Shaun Tarbuck, ICMIF Chief Executive, added: “We are, I feel, at the cutting edge of the insurance industry – and certainly the recent growth in market share of the sector suggests that the public is beginning to recognise this as well. When a cooperative/mutual insurer creates member value it, in turn, fosters competitive advantage and ultimately increases market share. All the statistics collated by ICMIF’s research team tell the same story: we’ve earned the right to call ourselves strong.”