London remains dominant market

The London market is still the world’s biggest re/insurance hub, according to London Matters 2020, London Marketing Group’s latest report, which tracks the London (re)insurance market’s growth and development.

The newly released report is a snapshot of the London market between 2015 and 2018. It found predictions other regional hubs would lower business levels in the London market had not come to fruition.

Instead, the gap between London and the total amount of business written in Bermuda, Switzerland and Singapore had actually increased, from $US16bn ($A24.5) in 2015 to $23bn in 2018.

The London market recorded $US110bn of gross written premium (GWP) in 2018, far ahead of Bermuda in second place, at $US51bn; followed by Zurich, $US25m; and Singapore, $US11bn.

The London market gained share in property and casualty (P&C) fuelled by growth in P&C and financial lines. Much of that growth stemmed from several factors, eg some types of complex risk in financial lines, that matched London expertise, had become harder to place in Europe and the US. That included high-limit, high-excess directors & officers (D&O), cyber and errors and omissions.

London market’s annual growth in P&C lines was up 8.1% and business managed my London market brokers and written overseas was up 13.8%.

The report found North America had taken over the UK and Ireland as London market’s biggest source of income with 36% share but it continued to underperform in the Asian and African emerging markets.

However, London’s share of the global commercial (re)insurance market remained stagnant overall at 7.6% since 2010. Within this, the London market’s share of commercial insurance had grown by only 0.1 percentage points, while its share of the global reinsurance market had fallen by 1.7pp.

The share of London market premium written by companies domiciled outside the UK was up 11pp to 85% and the share of London market premium written by carriers operating across both Lloyd’s and the company market almost doubled from 35% to 67%.

LMG chair Matthew Moore, said: “I am pleased to say that this report found the London market in good shape.

“Aggregate market share held steady, maintaining its dominance over other insurance centres, attracting more US business than ever before and increasing its contribution to UK gross domestic product.

“Nevertheless, some of the underlying challenges from the first London matters report in 2014 remain. We are still losing reinsurance business share, our share in emerging markets remains small, we need to replace an ageing workforce and there is more work to do on closing the gender pay gap.”