UK Household Insurance: Market Dynamics and Opportunities 2019

UK Household Insurance: Market Dynamics and Opportunities 2019

UK Household Insurance: Market Dynamics and Opportunities 2019


This report provides an in-depth analysis of the UK household insurance market. It looks at market size and performance ratios as well as changes in premiums, claims, contextual and economic factors, regulations, and opportunities. It provides a thorough overview of the market along with future forecasts and analysis of emerging technologies and products.

In terms of gross written premiums (GWP) the household insurance market reverted to type, declining by 4.9% in 2018 following a rare annual increase in 2017. Severe weather incidents at the start of 2018 were offset by insurers curtailing claims in almost every other category, which allowed insurers to keep premiums suppressed.

Traditional players RSA, Lloyds Bank, Direct Line, and Aviva continue to lead the market, although they face increasing competition from insurtechs honing in on Generation Rent. A large percentage of uninsured customers in this space are not being effectively targeted by traditional insurers and policies. Modern players offering digital and flexible policies aimed at renters will alter the market going forward, with on-demand, flexible policies likely to become commonplace.


  • UK household insurance GWP declined by 4.9% in 2018 to £6.2bn. Over 2014-18, GWP recorded a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -2.1%
  • Total claims increased by 13.3% in 2018. This was caused by weather-related claims rising by in excess of 150% during the year. Other categories recording declines prevented an even sharper rise.
  • RSA’s market share rose by 1.0 percentage point in 2018 to overtake Lloyds Bank as market leader.
Reasons to buy
  • Benchmark yourself against the rest of the market.
  • Ensure you remain competitive as new innovations and insurance models begin to enter the market.
  • Be prepared for how regulation will impact the household insurance market over the next few years.

  • Executive Summary
    • The UK household insurance market is declining
    • Key findings
    • Critical success factors
  • Market Dynamics
    • Introduction
    • Market conditions softened in 2018
      • UK household insurance GWP declined by 4.9% in 2018
        • Table Figure 1: Household GWP declined in 2018 after growth in 2017
        • Table Household insurance GWP and annual growth rate, 2013-18
      • Premium rate declines returned in 2018 following a rare year of growth
        • Table Figure 2: All premium rates decreased at the start of 2019
        • Table Quarterly average household insurance premium rate movements, 2014-Q1 2019
        • Table Figure 3: Rates have fluctuated, but changes have been limited over the past two years
        • Table AA Shoparound average home insurance premiums quarterly change, Q1 2015-Q4 2018
      • Combined cover is still the dominant product
        • Table Figure 4: Consumers shifted further towards combined home insurance in 2018
      • Underinsurance among Generation Rent remains a major concern
        • Table Figure 5: The proportion of UK consumers living in a rented property increased in 2018
        • Table Figure 6: Insurance penetration among renters remains below 50%
        • Table Figure 7: Over 15% of renters are still purchasing unnecessary cover
      • Regulators still see dual pricing as a major problem
    • Weather incidents caused claims to rise in 2018
      • Two severe countrywide storms saw weather claims rise by over 150% in 2018
        • Table Figure 8: Weather claims soared in 2018 following two severe events in the UK
        • Table Figure 9: Claims fell over the review period despite the 2018 weather claims
        • Table Household gross claims incurred by type and number of claims notified, 2014-18
      • Claims inflation is challenging profitability
        • Table Figure 10: Growth in household rebuild costs has stabilized since 2018 following sharp fluctuations
        • Table Figure 11: The Consumer Durables Price Index has fluctuated significantly
      • Underwriting profitability dropped significantly in 2018
        • Table Figure 12: Underwriting profitability plummeted following severe weather incidents in 2018
        • Table Underwriting profit results for UK household insurance, 2008-18
      • Flood Re continues to help at-risk houses across the UK
    • Home insurance demand was hit by a reduction in new house registrations
      • New home registrations and completions remained static in 2018
        • Table Figure 13: New registrations and completions remained static in 2018
        • Table New home registrations and completions, 2014-18
      • Mortgage approval rates dipped slightly in 2018
        • Table Figure 14: Mortgage approval has declined marginally since the start of 2017
      • Penetration rates are high among owner-occupiers but lower for tenants
        • Table Figure 15: Nearly half of private tenants do not hold home insurance
        • Table Percentage of respondents holding any form of home insurance, 2017-18
  • Competitor Dynamics
    • The top 10 insurers account for two thirds of GWP
      • RSA overtook Lloyds and Direct Line to lead the household market
        • Table Top 10 UK household insurers by market share, 2016-18
        • Table Figure 16: Direct Line recorded a second consecutive sharp decline in 2018, meaning RSA now leads the market
    • Analysis of the market leaders
      • Direct Line lost key partnerships as RSA picked up Nationwide
      • Lloyds Bank partnered with US startup Trov to sell products to home owners
      • Aviva is evolving its proposition using technology
      • Allianz's acquisition strategy will make it a key player in the household market
      • Saga responded to FCA warning with three-year fixed product
  • The Market Going Forward
    • Introduction
    • The market is expected to drop to £5.9bn in GWP by 2024
      • Insurers controlling claims should see the market steadily decline over the forecast period
        • Table Figure 17: Steady declines in GWP are predicted up to 2024
        • Table Total GWP and average premium forecasts, 2018-24f
    • Startups have turned their attention to Generation Rent
      • The Generation Rent trend could mark a shift in home insurance
      • Urban Jungle targets Generation Rent
        • Table Figure 18: Urban Jungle caters for young tenants
      • Brolly launches its own contents policy to combat an antiquated market
        • Table Figure 19: Brolly's cover is flexible and can be managed within its app
      • Lemonade's move to Europe poses a threat to established players
        • Table Figure 20: Lemonade's platforms are easy to use and understand
      • Other US startups are also worth watching
    • Competition from retailers is growing
      • Table Figure 21: Consumers' willingness to purchase home insurance from Amazon doubled in 2018
      • Amazon is on the verge of entering the market
    • Growth of smart home devices will impact the market
      • Water detection and education are essential to reducing escape of water claims
      • Cybersecurity is an emerging market for individual customers
  • Appendix
    • Abbreviations and acronyms
    • Methodology
      • GlobalData's UK Insurance Consumer Survey
      • UK Top 20 General Insurance Competitor Analytics methodology
      • Forecasting methodology
        • Table Figure 22: Forecasting methodology
    • Secondary sources
    • Further reading
    • About GlobalData

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