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London company market premium grows by 10%

Posted on: 7 October 2020

Premium income for the London company market grew by 10% last year with £21.436bn of large commercial and wholesale risks underwritten by firms in the City. A new report from the International Underwriting Association’s also shows a further £6.197bn was written in other offices outside of London but overseen and managed by London operations. Combining these two figures gave an overall intellectual and economic premium of £27.633bn for 2019.

Strong rates of premium growth across a wide range of business lines have been experienced by many companies. The hardening market conditions are supplemented by firms developing growth areas such as cyber and transfers of business from Lloyd’s of London into the company market.

Company restructuring necessitated by Brexit, however, has resulted in a large fall in the amount of ‘controlled’ premium written in European offices, but overseen and managed by London. A total of £4.508bn previously written in this manner is now recorded by continental operations instead.

Dave Matcham, chief executive of the International Underwriting Association, said: “Our annual statistics report reveals a remarkable performance by the London company market in 2019. Particular growth has been noted in energy, aviation, property and professional lines, though all classes appear to have benefited from improved market conditions to some extent. More business is also being written through managing agents with the amount of delegated authority premium up by 28%.

“With the end of the Brexit transition looming our report shows that IUA members are well positioned to continue serving their clients with new operational structures up and running. Reorganisation and the impending loss of financial services passporting rules has meant that a large amount of business written in Europe is no longer overseen and managed in the same way by London, but reported directly to operations located within the EU. Such restructuring has increased costs for IUA members, making them globally more inefficient and, ultimately, less able to offer a better deal for clients.”

In 2020, for the first time, the London Company Market Statistics Report identifies three new lines of business: political risk (£0.261bn), trade credit (£0.243bn) and standalone cyber (£0.253bn). Property remains the largest class of business (£5.365bn) followed by liability (£3.575bn).

This year also marks the tenth anniversary of the report which provides a unique insight into the international insurance and reinsurance firms operating in London’s global business hub.

Mr Matcham added: “Our market has certainly changed significantly over the decade in which we have been studying it. There has been substantial growth, from a total of £19.620bn in 2010 to £27.633bn for 2020. The make-up of market participants has also altered with an increase in overseas capital, consolidation amongst the largest players and firms increasingly operating in both the Lloyd’s and company markets.”

Copies of the London Company Market Statistics Report 2020 are freely available to download from the IUA website at

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