Sorry for interrupting, this website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Learn more
Accept & Close

General Insurance Overview - UK - December 2010

General insurance is one of the most competitive and commoditised financial service marketplaces. The growth of online purchasing over the last decade has increased price sensitivity among consumers but also lowered barriers to entry, allowing more brands to compete. Against this backdrop, many insurers have focused on gaining and maintaining share through price-driven marketing, in turn placing pressure on margins and underlying profitability.

This report examines some of the broad issues impacting the general insurance market and provides an overview of the size of the market and the main players. It also includes analysis of a number of well-known general insurance brands. Mintel’s exclusive consumer research provides an insight into product ownership, product tenure, attitudes towards claiming, channel preferences, purchasing considerations and more general attitudes towards the general insurance sector.

  • Other than car and home insurance, most types of general insurance product are regarded as nice to have or even unnecessary, making them prime candidates for cuts when people are assessing household budgets.
  • Fewer than one in ten people are prepared to make a claim in order to get value for money from an insurance product, although the proportion is a little higher among under 35s.
  • Claims experience has an impact on attitudes – those who have had a positive experience are less than half as likely as average to view the industry in a negative light.
  • Many people lack experience of dealing with an insurer beyond the application process, as around half of all internet users have never made an insurance claim.
  • Among those who have actually made a claim, getting the cheapest price is less important than obtaining quality cover.
  • A third of internet users are prepared to consider adopting a single flexible insurance policy that could be adapted to suit policyholder needs.

What you get

What's included

Why buy from us?

Succeed

Our reports will provide you with market data, consumer research and competitive intelligence to succeed in your market.

Instant Access

Buy now and you'll have instant access to the information you need to make the right decisions.

Opportunities

Find out what's next in the markets that matter to you: where opportunities lie and what challenges you will face.

Trusted

A business Superbrand, Mintel is a source you can trust. We have been defining and refining the Market Intelligence mix since 1972.

Table of contents

  1. Issues in the Market

      • Key issues
        • Sector focus
          • Definitions
            • Abbreviations
            • Future Opportunities

                • Reviewing and re-evaluating
                  • Diversity is All
                  • Market in Brief

                    • Product ownership trends and attitudes
                      • Figure 1: Insurance product ownership, August 2010
                    • Online channels are the preferred way to arrange insurance
                      • Figure 2: Preferred channels for arranging different general insurance products, August 2010
                    • Claims experience influences insurance attitudes and behaviour
                      • Demand for a simplified approach to insurance
                        • Figure 3: Consumer attitudes towards general insurance products, August 2010
                      • General insurance sector records an underwriting loss in 2009
                        • Figure 4: UK outgo and underwriting result for annual general insurance business, 2005-09
                      • Motor and property insurance dominate
                        • Figure 5: Share of total premium income (UK annual business), by sector, 2009
                      • RBS and Aviva lead the way
                        • Figure 6: Top five general insurance underwriters – total market (direct and facultative business), based on GWPs, 2009
                    • Market Environment

                      • Key points
                        • Motor insurance premiums soar in 2010
                          • Figure 7: AA British premium index market average trends, Apr 08 – Oct 10
                        • Consumers take a more cautious approach to expenditure
                          • Figure 8: Agreement with selected lifestyle statements on finance, 2006-10
                        • Inclination to be well insured falls slightly
                          • Insurance fraud remains high on the agenda
                            • Figure 9: Detected general insurance fraud rates, by volume and value, 2004-09
                          • Households spend more than £800 per year on general insurance
                            • Figure 10: Average yearly expenditure on different types of general insurance, 1998/99-2008
                          • Regulation
                            • IPT to increase from January 2010
                              • Solvency II implementation draws near
                                • Insurance Mediation Directive to be revised
                                  • Insurance complaints increase in 2009/10
                                  • Strengths and Weaknesses in the Market

                                      • Figure 11: SWOT analysis for the general insurance market (personal lines), 2010
                                  • General Insurance Market Size

                                    • Key points
                                      • General insurance market contracts in 2009…
                                        • Figure 12: Summary of annual general insurance business – UK risks, by sector NWPs, 2005-09
                                      • …and records an underwriting loss
                                        • Figure 13: UK outgo and underwriting result for annual general insurance business, 2005-09
                                      • Looking forward
                                      • Market Segmentation

                                        • Key points
                                          • Personal lines business accounts for almost 60% of premiums
                                            • Figure 14: Split of general insurance GWPs, by personal, commercial and MAT sectors, 2009
                                          • Private motor and domestic property sectors account for 50% of premiums
                                            • Figure 15: Share of total premium income (UK annual business), by sector, 2009
                                          • Mixed fortunes across the general insurance market
                                            • Figure 16: Detailed premium analysis – UK, by selected class of business, 2004/05-2008/09
                                        • Underwriter Share

                                          • Key points
                                            • RBS tops the general insurance underwriting ranking
                                              • Figure 17: Largest general insurers/reinsuers – total market (direct and facultative business), based on GWPs, 2009
                                          • Companies and Products

                                            • Major players
                                              • Aviva UK Insurance
                                                • Company description
                                                  • Product range
                                                    • Distribution
                                                      • Key data
                                                        • Marketing and promotion
                                                          • AXA Insurance
                                                            • Company description
                                                              • Product range
                                                                • Distribution
                                                                  • Key data
                                                                    • Recent activity
                                                                      • Marketing activity and promotion
                                                                        • Chartis Insurance (AIG)
                                                                          • Company description
                                                                            • Product range
                                                                              • Distribution
                                                                                • Key data
                                                                                  • Royal & Sun Alliance
                                                                                    • Company description
                                                                                      • Product range
                                                                                        • Distribution
                                                                                          • Key data
                                                                                            • Marketing activity and promotion
                                                                                              • Royal Bank of Scotland Insurance
                                                                                                • Company description
                                                                                                  • Product range
                                                                                                    • Distribution
                                                                                                      • Key data
                                                                                                        • Marketing activity and promotion
                                                                                                        • Channels to Market

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • The intermediary vs direct battle continues
                                                                                                              • Figure 18: Proportional distribution for personal lines general insurance, by value, 2000-09
                                                                                                            • Direct channels lead in the motor insurance sector…
                                                                                                              • Figure 19: Proportional distribution for personal lines motor insurance, by value, 2005-09
                                                                                                            • …but play a lesser role in the property insurance market
                                                                                                              • Figure 20: Proportional distribution for personal lines property insurance, by value, 2005-09
                                                                                                            • Channel preference varies between products
                                                                                                              • Figure 21: Preferred channels for arranging different general insurance products, August 2010
                                                                                                          • Brand Elements

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Brand Map
                                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Attitudes towards and usage of various general insurance brands, September 2010
                                                                                                                  • Awareness is high
                                                                                                                    • Supermarkets and general insurance
                                                                                                                      • Experience of general insurance brands
                                                                                                                        • Usage reflects lack of loyalty
                                                                                                                          • Figure 23: Consumer usage of various general insurance brands, September 2010
                                                                                                                        • Brand consideration for general insurance brands
                                                                                                                          • The benefits of specialisation
                                                                                                                            • Figure 24: Consideration of various general insurance brands, September 2010
                                                                                                                          • Brand satisfaction for general insurance brands
                                                                                                                            • Insurance specialists failing to wow their customers
                                                                                                                              • Figure 25: Satisfaction with various general insurance brands, September 2010
                                                                                                                            • Brand commitment to general insurance brands
                                                                                                                              • More challenges for insurance specialists
                                                                                                                                • Figure 26: Commitment to various general insurance brands, September 2010
                                                                                                                              • Brand intentions for general insurance brands
                                                                                                                                • The Post Office has scope to increase brand share
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Future usage intentions for various general insurance brands, September 2010
                                                                                                                                • Brand recommendation for general insurance brands
                                                                                                                                  • Non-traditional players leading the way on recommendation
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 28: Recommendation of various general insurance brands, September 2010
                                                                                                                                  • Brand qualities of general insurance brands
                                                                                                                                    • Few expect insurance brands to keep their promises
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Personalities of various general insurance brands, September 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Individual brand profiles
                                                                                                                                      • Aviva
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 30: Attitudes towards the Aviva brand, September 2010
                                                                                                                                      • AXA
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 31: Attitudes towards the Axa brand, September 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Barclays
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 32: Attitudes towards the Axa brand, September 2010
                                                                                                                                      • BUPA
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 33: Attitudes towards the BUPA brand, September 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Churchill
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 34: Attitudes towards the Churchill brand, September 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Direct Line
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 35: Attitudes towards the Direct Line brand, September 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Lloyds TSB
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Attitudes towards the Lloyds TSB brand, September 2010
                                                                                                                                      • LV=
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Attitudes towards the LV= brand, September 2010
                                                                                                                                      • M&S
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Attitudes towards the M&S brand, September 2010
                                                                                                                                      • MORE TH>N
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Attitudes towards the MORE TH>N brand, September 2010
                                                                                                                                      • The Post Office
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 40: Attitudes towards the Post Office brand, September 2010
                                                                                                                                      • SAGA
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 41: Attitudes towards the SAGA brand, September 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Sainsbury’s
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 42: Attitudes towards the Sainsbury’s brand, September 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Tesco
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 43: Attitudes towards the Tesco brand, September 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Zurich
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 44: Attitudes towards the Zurich brand, September 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Brand Communication and Promotion

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • General insurance adspend continues to decline
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 45: Topline adspend for general insurance products, 2007/08-2009/10
                                                                                                                                        • Car and home insurance dominate general insurance adspend
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 46: Adspend, by general insurance category, 2007/08-2009/10
                                                                                                                                        • Some growth markets
                                                                                                                                          • Most insurance adspend is focused on direct mail and TV
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 47: General insurance adspend, by media type, 2007/08-2009/10
                                                                                                                                          • RBS brands lead the way
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Top 20 general insurance advertisers, 2007/08-2009/10
                                                                                                                                        • Insurance Product Ownership

                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                            • Note on consumer research
                                                                                                                                              • Car and contents insurance lead the way
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Insurance product ownership, August 2010
                                                                                                                                              • Target group analysis
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Target groups identified for range of general insurance products, August 2010
                                                                                                                                              • Demographic drivers
                                                                                                                                                • A quarter of internet users have six or more general insurance products
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Repertoire of Insurance product ownership, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 52: Insurance product ownership, by repertoire of Insurance product ownership, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                • Insurance product associations
                                                                                                                                                • Loyalty in General Insurance

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • A lack of loyalty across the sector
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 53: Insurance products owned for under and over three years, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Low tenure indicates some product areas are expanding
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Insurance product ownership, by length of time insurance products held, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                  • How Important Is Insurance?

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Car and home insurance deemed to be essential by the majority…
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 55: Consumer necessity rating for different general insurance products, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                      • …but other insurances are seen as a luxury
                                                                                                                                                        • Some products are regarded as unnecessary
                                                                                                                                                          • Policyholders see some products as nice to have…
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 56: Consumer necessity rating for different general insurance products, by existing policyholders, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                          • …and a minority think their cover is unnecessary
                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes and Behaviour Towards Claiming

                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                              • Consumers believe insurers could do better with claims handling
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 57: Consumer attitudes towards claiming, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                              • Improving consumer perceptions
                                                                                                                                                                • Most consumers understand the principle of insurance
                                                                                                                                                                  • Claims experiences have a significant impact on perceptions
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Positive and negative claim experiences, by most popular consumer attitudes towards claiming, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                  • Around half have never made an insurance claim
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Consumer claims experience, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                  • Maintaining a positive experience beyond claims handling
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 60: Consumer attitudes towards claiming, by consumer claims history, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Channel Preferences for Arranging Insurance

                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                    • Online channels dominate general insurance distribution
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 61: Preferred channels for arranging different general insurance products, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                    • Channel preference differs between products
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 62: Preferred channels for arranging different general insurance products, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                    • Offline channels attract people seeking reassurance
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 63: Demographics for preferred channels for arranging different general insurance products, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                  • Purchasing Considerations

                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                      • A balancing act between price and quality
                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 64: Most important considerations when purchasing insurance among policyholders, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                      • Clarity of cover
                                                                                                                                                                        • Weighing up a range of factors
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 65: Repertoire of most important considerations when purchasing insurance, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 66: Most important considerations when purchasing insurance, by repertoire of most important considerations, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                        • Claims experience influences priorities
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 67: Most important considerations when purchasing insurance, by claims experience, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                        • Offline channels provide additional assurance
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 68: Most important considerations when purchasing insurance, by preferred channels for arranging different general insurance products, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                        • Different approaches to online channels
                                                                                                                                                                        • Attitudes Towards Insurance Products

                                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                            • A third want simplicity and flexibility
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 69: Consumer attitudes towards general insurance products, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 70: Consumer attitudes towards general insurance products, by repertoire of Insurance product ownership, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                            • One in four review their insurance cover on a regular basis
                                                                                                                                                                              • Over-55s are the most likely to regularly review insurance
                                                                                                                                                                                • Single-policy advocates want simplicity…and rewards
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 71: Most important considerations when purchasing insurance, by most popular consumer attitudes towards general insurance product, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                • Policy confusion leads to more price-sensitive consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 72: Most important considerations when purchasing insurance, by next most popular consumer attitudes towards general insurance product, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                • Insurance claimants are more likely to review their insurance cover
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 73: Consumer attitudes towards general insurance products, by consumer claims history, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Market Environment

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 74: Household expenditure on general insurance, by category, 1998-08
                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Insurance Product Ownership

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 75: Most popular insurance product ownership, by demographics, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 76: Next most popular insurance product ownership, by demographics, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 77: Other insurance product ownership, by demographics, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 78: Cross-holding of most widely owned general insurance products, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 79: Cross-holding of other general insurance products, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Assessing Insurance Product Necessity

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 80: Consumer necessity rating for discretionary general insurance products, by demographics, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Attitudes and Behaviour Towards Claiming

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 81: Most popular consumer attitudes towards claiming, by demographics, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 82: Next most popular consumer attitudes towards claiming, by demographics, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 83: Consumer claims history, by demographics, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Channel Preferences for Arranging Insurance

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 84: Preferred channels for arranging different general insurance products, by demographics, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Purchasing Considerations

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 85: Most popular considerations when purchasing insurance, by demographics, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 86: Next most popular considerations when purchasing insurance, by demographics, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – Attitudes Towards Insurance Products

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 87: Most popular consumer attitudes towards general insurance products, by demographics, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 88: Next most popular consumer attitudes towards general insurance products, by demographics, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 89: Consumer attitudes towards general insurance products, by most popular consumer attitudes towards general insurance products, August 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 90: Consumer attitudes towards general insurance products, by next most popular consumer attitudes towards general insurance products, August 2010

                                                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                              • AIG Group (American International Group Inc)
                                                                                                                                                                              • Allianz Group
                                                                                                                                                                              • Association of British Insurers
                                                                                                                                                                              • Automobile Association (AA)
                                                                                                                                                                              • Aviva Plc
                                                                                                                                                                              • AXA PPP healthcare
                                                                                                                                                                              • Brit Insurance Holdings PLC
                                                                                                                                                                              • BUPA
                                                                                                                                                                              • Chubb Group of Insurance Companies
                                                                                                                                                                              • Churchill Insurance
                                                                                                                                                                              • Co-operative Group
                                                                                                                                                                              • Devitt Insurance Services
                                                                                                                                                                              • Direct Line Group Limited
                                                                                                                                                                              • Financial Services Authority (The)
                                                                                                                                                                              • Green Flag Motoring Assistance
                                                                                                                                                                              • Hiscox Plc
                                                                                                                                                                              • Kantar Media
                                                                                                                                                                              • Lloyd's
                                                                                                                                                                              • Lloyds Banking Group
                                                                                                                                                                              • Munich Re Group
                                                                                                                                                                              • NatWest
                                                                                                                                                                              • Outdoor Advertising Association of Great Britain
                                                                                                                                                                              • Post Office Limited
                                                                                                                                                                              • Privilege Insurance
                                                                                                                                                                              • Royal Automobile Club
                                                                                                                                                                              • Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc
                                                                                                                                                                              • RSA
                                                                                                                                                                              • Saga Services (finance)
                                                                                                                                                                              • Swiftcover
                                                                                                                                                                              • The National Insurance and Guarantee Corporation Limited
                                                                                                                                                                              • Zurich Financial Services

                                                                                                                                                                              General Insurance Overview - UK - December 2010

                                                                                                                                                                              £2,195.00 (Excl.Tax)