UK Professional Indemnity Insurance Market Update 2019

UK Professional Indemnity Insurance Market Update 2019

UK Professional Indemnity Insurance Market Update 2019


Professional indemnity insurers are taking steps to address unsustainable levels of unprofitability caused by years of fierce competition and underpricing. In this saturated market, growth will continue to be largely driven by underlying economic performance and premium rate rises, which are anticipated to continue in 2020. Price rises and changing insurer appetites are leading to increased switching among SMEs at renewal, as well as shifts in the competitive landscape.

This report provides an in-depth analysis of the UK professional indemnity insurance market. It looks at market size as well as changes in premiums, claims, distribution, regulation, and future opportunities, including our proprietary GWP forecasts. It provides a thorough analysis of the distribution dynamics in the SME segment, leveraging findings from our 2019 UK SME Insurance Survey.


  • The UK professional indemnity insurance market was worth £1.97bn in 2019, marking growth of 14.4%.
  • We anticipate higher rates of growth to continue in 2020, although premium rate rises will be tempered by uncertain economic performance.
  • There has been little growth in the penetration of professional indemnity insurance among SMEs. We estimate that 46-55% of SMEs have PII - a figure that has remained broadly the same over the last two years.
  • SME switching levels have increased, with 13.5% of medium-sized companies changing provider in 2019.
Reasons to buy
  • Understand the size of the market and the factors underlying its growth.
  • Develop your proposition to target growth segments.
  • Ensure you remain competitive as new innovations and insurance models begin to enter the market.
  • Adapt your distribution strategy to ensure it is efficient and still meets customer purchasing habits.

  • Executive Summary
    • Hard conditions prevail in the PII market
    • Key findings
    • Critical success factors
  • Market Context
    • Introduction
    • Growth in the PII market was driven by hard conditions across multiple sectors in 2019
      • Table Figure 1: UK PII GWP had grown slowly since 2015, with more notable growth achieved in 2019
      • Table UK PII GWP, 2015-19e
    • Growth in underlying demand for PII remains muted among traditional professions and slow for miscellaneous occupations
      • Growth in the number of potential policyholders in traditional professions remains muted
        • Table Figure 2: Growth in the number of employers within traditional PII professions remains muted in comparison to the private sector
      • Consolidation continues to shape the face of traditional professions
      • Traditional profession turnover has continued to rise, indicating greater risk exposure for PI insurers
        • Table Figure 3: Since 2015 average turnover has increased notably faster among traditional PII profession employers than among private sector employers
      • Over the last five years much of the growth in underlying demand has occurred among nontraditional professions and SMEs
      • Miscellaneous PII is increasingly saturated, not just among larger risks but also for SMEs
    • The impact of significant capacity withdrawal led to premium rate rises in 2019
      • Lloyd's performance management initiatives have led to a significant reduction in capacity
      • Premium rates rose throughout 2019, particularly in the construction, solicitor, and IFA sectors
      • Spotlight on solicitors
      • Spotlight on construction
      • Spotlight on IFAs
    • Higher growth is expected in the market over the next couple of years
      • Rate increases are expected to continue in many areas of the PII market in 2020
      • UK PII GWP will continue to show healthier growth in 2020 and beyond
        • Table Figure 4: Premium rate rises will counter slower economic performance and lead to higher rates of growth for UK PII GWP
        • Table UK PII GWP, 2019e-23f
      • Considerable economic uncertainties could have significant implications for the PII market
      • Sectoral issues will also impact the future growth of the overall market
  • Professional Indemnity Insurance and SMEs
    • Introduction
    • PII penetration is stagnating
      • Table Figure 5: PII penetration levels are largely stagnant, but showed slight signs of decline in 2019
    • Four out of 10 SMEs providing advice do not hold PII
      • Table Figure 6: The majority of SMEs providing advice without PII do not think they need it
    • Brokers and organizations such as trade associations remain popular channels for purchasing PII
      • Table Figure 7: SMEs use a variety of channels when purchasing PII
    • The internet is the favored platform for SMEs buying PII
    • Human interaction remains important for small companies
      • Table Figure 8: Human interaction is important for small companies buying PII
    • Switching has increased due to market conditions
      • Table PII switching levels and behavior at last renewal by size of SME, 2019
      • Table Figure 9: Levels of shopping around for PI decrease in line with business size
      • Table Figure 10: A growing proportion of switchers are looking for increased coverage, more flexibility, and added risk management services
    • Cyber risks remain a key issue, with clear cross-selling opportunities among small and medium companies that offer professional advice
      • Cyber-related PII risks continue to grow
      • The majority of SMEs with cyber cover also have PII
      • There are cross-selling opportunities among small and medium companies that offer professional advice
        • Table Figure 11: A notable proportion of small and medium companies that provide professional advice have cyber cover but not PII
  • Competition
    • Introduction
    • The leading PI insurers differ by sector
    • After a raft of withdrawals in 2018 and increased market scrutiny on PI profitability, Lloyd's share of the UK PII market has shrunk
    • AXA and Hiscox are among the most selected insurers for SME professional indemnity cover
      • Hiscox has a well-established direct proposition, attracting sole traders
      • AXA is the market leader across other SME segments and has expanded its mid-market appetite
        • Table Top insurers selected by SMEs purchasing PII, by share of responses, 2019
      • Zurich has gained market share
    • Hiscox remained the favored insurer for PII placement among brokers in 2019
      • Table Figure 12: Hiscox, HCC, and Markel remain brokers' favored PI insurers
  • Appendix
    • Abbreviations and acronyms
    • Supplementary data
      • Table Turnover by size of business in key traditional PI professions (£m), 2014-18
      • Table Number of businesses by size in key traditional PI professions, 2014-18
    • Definitions
      • SMEs
    • Methodology
      • GlobalData's 2019 UK Commercial Broker Survey
      • GlobalData's 2019 UK SME Insurance Survey
      • Change in BEIS data presentation
    • Secondary sources
    • Further reading
    • About GlobalData
      • Table Figure 13: About GlobalData

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook
Cookie Settings