London company market premium continues to grow

Premium income for the London company market has risen by over 7%, according to figures published by the International Underwriting Association.

Inflationary claims pressures were a principal driving factor behind premium growth. The year saw increased nat cat costs and companies reported strengthening market conditions across multiple lines.

Firms covering large commercial, wholesale and specialty risks in the City earned £30.114bn in 2021, up from £27.976bn the previous year.

A further £5.540bn was written in offices elsewhere but overseen and managed by London operations.

Combining the two totals reveals an overall intellectual and economic premium for the company market of £35.654bn in 2022 (£33.138bn in 2021).

This upward trend is slowing, however, with clients said to be retaining more risk.

Dave Matcham, chief executive of the IUA, said: “In recent years our annual statistics report has shown strong growth in premium earned by the London company market. Last year, we recorded a 30% increase in business underwritten in the City. Although the latest figures are less spectacular they confirm our market’s continued importance as a global hub of insurance and reinsurance solutions and knowledge.”

Over the past 12 months, treaty business written by IUA members has grown at a faster rate than direct/facultative placements. The latter grew by 5.7% to £23.959bn, while treaty jumped 15.7% to £6.154bn.

For premium controlled by London but written elsewhere the trend is reversed. Here, direct/facultative contracts now account for two thirds of the market against one third treaty, compared to a 50/50 split in 2020.

The US and Canada is becoming an increasingly important region for business written in London, the report confirms. It accounted for 20% of the market in 2021, up from 19% last year, 16% the year before.

Continental Europe meanwhile has fallen from a 15% share to 11% which is likely due to such business now being written in EU subsidiaries.

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