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Life insurance industry in the United Kingdom (UK) - statistics & facts

The United Kingdom (UK), as one of the world’s largest financial centers, is the leader in the European life insurance industry. As of 2019, UK life insurance businesses had a market share of over 70 percent of the total UK insurance market, providing a wide range of insurance and financial investment products. Life insurance policies provide coverage in the event of the policy holder’s death, allowing them to leave money behind to help their beneficiaries. Annuities, on the other hand, are a regular payment scheme which grants the policy holder lifelong income upon retirement. And income protection insures a policy holder's income in the event they suffer an injury or a terminal illness and cannot work. In 2020, the top three life insurers in Great Britain by number of plan owners were Legal & General, Aviva, and Scottish Widows.

Metrics and investments

A simple way to measure the size of the UK insurance market is through its main source of revenue – the premiums paid by customers for their insurance policies. In 2019, close to 265 billion U.S. dollars was generated in total direct premiums written the UK life insurance sector. Net income from total premiums of UK life insurers totaled over ten billion British pounds in 2018, while benefits paid by UK life insurers amounted to over 18 billion British pounds. Another crucial role that the insurance industry plays is the investments insurers carry out with the premiums they receive. After France, the UK has the second largest life insurance investment portfolio in Europe, accounting for around one fifth of the European life insurers’ investment market share in 2019.

Life insurance market density

The concentration of the UK life insurance market is lower than in many other European markets. In 2019 there were over 300 companies operating on the domestic UK insurance market, with the top ten British insurers making up almost three quarters of the total market. Additionally, the United Kingdom was ranked fifth in Europe by insurance density, with almost 3,600 U.S. dollars per capita – which means that if all UK citizens had life insurance, this is how much they would each be paying annually. It is predicted that the value life insurance gross written premiums in the UK will reach close to 200 billion British pounds over the next few years.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 33 most important statistics relating to "Life insurance industry UK".

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