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Insurance industry in the United Kingdom - statistics & facts

The United Kingdom is one of the largest insurance markets in the world, being home to both a very large domestic market, and many multinational insurers who provide insurance services around the world. As of 2019, the insurance industry of the United Kingdom was the largest in Europe based on total domestic insurance premiums written. At the same time the UK was ranked fifth by life and non-life direct premiums written globally – surpassed only by the U.S., China, Germany, and Japan. Across all insurance companies, direct employment in the UK's insurance sector amounted over 113,000 direct employees in 2009 – a significant increase from the previous year.

Life and non-life insurance in the UK

In its simplest terms the insurance industry can be broken down into two main categories: life and non-life insurance. The life insurance sector provides coverage not only in the event of death, but also for other major, life-changing events such as disability or terminal illness. Conversely, the non-life sector includes insurances to do with property damage, insurances for businesses, as well as private health insurance (on most definitions). In 2019, gross life insurance premiums written by the UK life insurance sector amounted to over 175 billion British pounds. Europe as a whole had total premiums written for life insurance of roughly 700 billion euros. The UK saw a further 110 billion euros in non-life insurance premiums written, the second-highest value of premiums written among European countries.

Who are the UK’s market leaders?

Many of the leading companies participating in Europe's insurance industry were located in the United Kingdom. Two of the top ten life and health insurance companies in Europe reside in the UK, with Prudential and Aviva leading the pack with a market value of over 50 billion U.S dollars as of November 2021. The other leading insurance companies on the European market by gross written premiums are France with its largest insurer Axa, Germany with Allianz, and Italy with Generali.

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