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Dec 2022

Worldwide commercial lines direct premiums to exceed $1tn in 2022

Source: Middle East Insurance Review | Oct 2022

According to a ranking published recently by Insuramore for the global commercial P&C (non-life) insurance market, 145 insurer (carrier/underwriter) groups had GDPW (gross direct premiums written) in this category of more than $1bn in 2021. Furthermore, at 103, just over a half of the top 200 groups recorded a double-digit increase in their commercial lines GDPW in that year (not adjusted for inflation) and 10 of these groups achieved growth of more than 50%. Among these latter competitors were Convex Group, Fidelis Insurance Holdings, RenaissanceRe and Trisura Group, for example, plus Intact Financial Corporation which advanced strongly in part through its acquisition of RSA’s activities (outside of Scandinavia), which completed in 2021.
 
Overall, total worldwide GDPW in the commercial lines market seem highly likely to exceed $1tn in value for the first time in 2022. Growth is occurring because of several factors including a buoyant commercial specialty market (particularly in North America), rising premiums brought on by the increasing incidence of severe weather events (e.g., insurance for agricultural enterprises) and inflation.
 
On the other hand, a deteriorating economic environment could subdue progress in standard commercial lines cover acquired by small- and medium-sized businesses in 2023, if not in 2022. Another factor that may cause the global market value to move ahead less strongly in 2022 than might otherwise have been the case is the strength of the US dollar relative to most other major currencies. Many insurer groups reporting results in currencies other than US dollars and with little or no exposure to the US insurance market will slip down the global ranking as their GDPW will be worth less in US dollar terms when converted. In contrast, groups headquartered in the US and Bermuda, which accounted for 78 of the top 200 commercial lines competitors in 2021, are set to become more numerous in the next ranking.
 
The following findings also arise from the latest analysis: 
  • Allianz had the highest GDPW from commercial P&C insurance in 2021, followed in descending order by AXA, PICC, Zurich and Chubb; 
  • Together, these five largest groups had a combined global market share of commercial lines GDPW of 15.9% and the top 20 groups took a combined share of 41.6%; and 
  • With regards to the top 20 groups, which were the same in 2021 as they had been in the previous two years (albeit with some changes to their order), this combined share was scarcely changed from 2019, when it had been 41.9%, and 2020, at 41.5%.
Due to its status as an insurance marketplace, Lloyd’s of London, which had commercial lines GDPW of around $32.7bn in 2021, is not counted as a group in this analysis. While some M&A activity has been taking place in the global non-life sector, the launch and development of fast-growing commercial lines specialists, which include various fronting insurers, mean that significant consolidation has not occurred. Moreover, another trend affecting the worldwide market structure and causing it to remain keenly competitive is the increasing propensity of groups mainly focused on reinsurance (e.g., Everest Re and Munich Re, as well as Renaissance Re) to transact direct business. M 
 
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