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 UK Professional Indemnity Market Review 2018


The winds of change gathered pace in 2018, with premium rate rises and significant reductions in Lloyds market capacity driving a step-change in H2. Further significant changes are anticipated in 2019 as professional indemnity insurers continue taking steps to address unsustainable levels of unprofitability.

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– Over the last five years much of the growth in underlying demand has occurred among non-traditional professions and SMEs.
– Legal services are among the biggest buyers of PII, and, in comparison to other professions, only doctors and dentists have a higher number of insureds.
– The technology, management consultancy, and freelance sectors can be particularly pinpointed as driving growth in the non-traditional or miscellaneous sectors. Professions impacted by the change in data protection rules through the EUs General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force in May 2018, have reportedly been looking more carefully at the potential benefits of PII and cyber cover.

Reasons to buy

– 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.

Table of Contents
1.1. Market summary 1
1.2. Key findings 1
1.3. Critical success factors 1

2.1. Introduction 7
2.2. Growth in the PII market was driven by the construction, solicitors excess layer, and IFA sectors in 2018 7
2.3. Growth in underlying demand for PII remains muted among traditional professions, with slowing growth in miscellaneous occupations 9
2.3.1. Growth in the number of potential policyholders in traditional professions remains muted 9
2.3.2. Consolidation continues to shape the face of traditional professions 10
2.3.3. Traditional profession turnover has continued to rise, indicating greater risk exposure for PI insurers 11
2.3.4. Over the last five years much of the growth in underlying demand has occurred among non-traditional professions and SMEs 12
2.3.5. Miscellaneous PII is believed to be increasingly saturated, not just among larger risks but also for SMEs 14
2.4. 2018 saw the start of a more significant withdrawal of capacity and a shift in premium rates in certain sectors 14
2.4.1. The early indications of change that were starting to emerge in 2017 gathered significant pace in H2 2018 14
2.4.2. Lloyds performance management initiatives have galvanized a reduction in capacity 15
2.4.3. Premium rates rose, particularly in the construction, excess-layer solicitors PII, and IFA sectors 15
2.4.4. Spotlight on solicitors 16
2.4.5. Spotlight on construction 17
2.4.6. Spotlight on IFAs 18
2.5. Profitability has reached unsustainable levels 18
2.5.1. Lloyds market figures illustrate the extent of the PI markets losses 18
2.5.2. Persistent rate reductions and increased claims frequency and severity have caused the profitability crunch 19
2.6. Higher growth is expected in the PII market over the next couple of years 20
2.6.1. Rate increases are expected in many areas of the market in 2019 20
2.6.2. UK PII GWP will show healthier growth in 2019 and beyond 21
2.6.3. A disorderly Brexit could have concerning implications for the PII market 22
2.6.4. Sectoral issues will also impact the future growth of the overall market 23

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3.1. Introduction 25
3.2. Over a third of SMEs providing advice do not hold professional indemnity insurance 25
3.3. Brokers and organizations such as trade associations remain popular channels for purchasing PII 27
3.4. The Internet is the most favored platform for SMEs buying PII 28
3.5. Human interaction remains important for small companies 29
3.6. Over half of SMEs with PII could be described as price-sensitive 30
3.7. Cyber risks remain a key issue, with clear cross-selling opportunities among small and medium companies

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