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The Insurance Times reveals poor underwriting performance

 

Research recently published  by The Insurance Times has highlighted the poor underwriting performance of the leading commercial insurers in the UK.

A recent report analysed the returns for the top 20 UK commercial lines insurers and highlighted that, as a whole, the market had failed to achieve anything like an underwriting profit in each of the past 3 years.  The average combined operating ratio in 2012 was 105%, which in laymen’s terms, that for every £1 received in premium they pay out £1.05 in claims along with other expenses in running the business.

Out of the top 10 commercial insurers only one (marginally) made any sort of underwriting profit, with many of the UK’s household name insurers being some of the worst performers.

So what does this mean for brokers and their clients?  Clearly, insurers cannot allow the situation to go unchecked and we have already seen some signs of rating increases, particularly for those cases where the claims experience warrants it.  There are signs, however, of more aggressive attitudes being taken by some of the larger insurers with more significant rating increases being imposed and a more rigid approach to negotiating on those terms being evident.

This approach could have a significant impact for clients and brokers who have particular allegiances to some of those poorly performing insurers who are trying to rectify the situation, or where the broker does not have the strength of relationship with an insurer to negotiate positively on behalf of a client.

Russell Scanlan have long championed excellent working relationships with all insurers and our independent status, we believe, enables us to negotiate more positively than many of our competitors.  Historically, the business we have placed with insurers has made significant profits for them and we believe this will stand us in good stead as we continue to strive to provide the best service for our clients.

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