United Kingdom (UK) Commercial Insurance Distribution Dynamics by Channels and Future Market, 2023 Update

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UK Commercial Insurance Market Overview

The UK commercial insurance distribution landscape is largely dominated by brokers. It is largely due to their ability to offer expert advice and find the appropriate cover for a wide range of businesses. As digital transformation accelerates within the industry, brokers will, need to adapt more online solutions into their service offering.

The UK commercial insurance market research report discusses the distribution landscape of UK commercial insurance. Each channel is discussed in turn, with a particular focus on the broker channel, which dominates the space. Analysis of responses to GlobalData’s 2023 UK Commercial Insurance Broker Survey offers insight into brokers’ growth and digital transformation strategies going forward. The SME market is discussed, with due consideration given to smaller businesses and their relatively simple insurance needs. The report finishes with an outlook on the future of the distribution landscape, exploring areas for brokers to develop, growth opportunities, and relevant insurtechs.

Key Distribution Channels Brokers, Direct Channels, Affinity Channels, and Banks/Building Societies
Key Purchasing Methods Online (PC), Online (Smartphone/Tablet), Telephone, Face-To-Face, and Bought By Post

The UK Commercial Insurance Market Segmentation by Distribution Channels

The key commercial insurance distribution channels in the UK are brokers, direct channels, affinity channels, and banks/building societies. Brokers remain the dominant distribution channel for commercial insurance in 2022, followed by direct channels and affinity channels.

Brokers: Brokers’ dominance in the commercial insurance market is due to their ability to offer specialist advice to their customers. This has become more relevant in 2022 due to the cost-of-living crisis. Supply chain issues and rising inflation has led to underinsurance becoming a significant concern for the UK businesses. In addition to underinsurance, businesses’ top concerns during the cost-of-living crisis include gaps in coverage and enhanced policy clarity. Brokers are best placed to help address these concerns as they can offer specialist and tailored advice to their customers.

Direct Channels: The direct channel remained an important contributor to the distribution of commercial products in 2022, with a more than 9% share of the market. Smaller firms, which have been financially strained by the cost-of-living crisis, will look to the direct channel for more affordable, simple solutions.

The UK Commercial Insurance Market Analysis by Channels, 2022(%)

The UK Commercial Insurance Market Analysis by Channels, 2022(%)

For more insights on distribution channels in the UK commercial insurance market, download a free report sample

The UK Commercial Insurance Market Segmentation by Purchasing Methods

The key SME insurance purchasing methods in the UK are online (PC), online (smartphone/tablet), telephone, face-to-face, and bought by post. Online (PC) was the leading purchasing method in 2022. While purchases using a PC are most popular among SMEs, the number of SMEs purchasing insurance from a smartphone or tablet increased for every business size in 2022. Distributors should make sure they have a high quality, easy to use, mobile-friendly website, in addition to traditional platforms, to continue to engage with SMEs.

The UK Commercial Insurance Market Analysis by Purchasing Methods, 2022(%)

The UK Commercial Insurance Market Analysis by Purchasing Methods, 2022(%)

For more insights on purchasing methods in the UK commercial insurance market, download a free report sample

Segments Covered in the Report

UK Commercial Insurance Market Distribution Channel Outlook (2022)

  • Brokers
  • Direct Channels
  • Affinity Channels
  • Banks/Building Societies

UK Commercial Insurance Market Purchasing Method Outlook (2022)

  • Online (PC)
  • Online (Smartphone/Tablet)
  • Telephone
  • Face-to-Face
  • Bought by Post


• 79.7% of commercial insurance premiums were written through brokers in 2022, an increase of 0.1 percentage points (pp) when compared to 2021.

• The SME space is more competitive, with many micro and small-sized businesses utilizing the direct channel as well as PCWs.

• Marsh remains the leading broker in the UK commercial insurance market.

Reasons to Buy

  • Identify the most frequently used channels to purchase commercial insurance.
  • Adapt your distribution strategy to cater to the changing needs of clients and intermediaries.
  • Learn how market leaders have strategized to achieve their success.
  • Understand the trends and themes set to transform the market in the future.

Willis Towers Watson
Liberty Mutual
The Professional Broking Group
Leons Group
Tiger Risk
Franz Gossler
Pentland Analytics
Lloyds Bank
Metro Bank
Sollers Consulting
Send Technology Solutions

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive Summary

    • 1.1. Market overview
    • 1.2. Key findings
    • 1.3. Critical success factors

  • 2. Commercial Insurance Distribution Overview

    • 2.1. Brokers continue to dominate the commercial space in 2022

  • 3. The Broker Channel

    • 3.1. The broker landscape is dominated by global firms
    • 3.2. Cross-selling and upselling is the most popular growth strategy
    • 3.3. Uptake of additional services remains low in 2023
    • 3.4. An uncertain macroeconomic climate is worrying brokers and SMEs

  • 4. Other Commercial Distribution Channels

    • 4.1. The direct channel is responsible for a significant share of business
    • 4.2. The banking channel has a negligible share of distribution in 2022

  • 5. The Distribution Landscape Going Forward

    • 5.1. Brokers will continue to be the market leader
    • 5.2. Commercial insurance distribution going forward

  • 6. Appendix

    • 6.1. Abbreviations and acronyms
    • 6.2. Definitions
    • 6.3. Methodology
    • 6.4. Secondary sources
    • 6.5. Further reading

  • 7. About GlobalData


Table 1: Growth strategies utilized by UK brokers, 2023

Table 2: Selected banks and their insurance provider partners


Figure 1: Brokers remain the dominant distribution channel for commercial insurance in 2022

Figure 2: We estimate that brokers accounted for GBP22.0 billion in GWP in commercial lines in 2022

Figure 3: The volume of commercial GWP has generally increased for brokers in 2022

Figure 4: There is more competition within the SME space

Figure 5: The majority of SMEs purchase insurance online

Figure 6: Marsh’s remains market leader as revenues increase to GBP1.47 billion

Figure 7: Cross-selling and upselling is the most popular growth strategy

Figure 8: National brokers are increasingly partnering with insurtechs

Figure 9: Super-regional brokers are increasingly adopting additional services, yet uptake remains low

Figure 10: Provincial brokers are least likely to adopt new technologies into their service offering

Figure 11: Super-regional brokers are increasingly adopting new service features in 2023

Figure 12: National brokers are better placed to adopt new services

Figure 13: Brokers are worried about the tough macroeconomic environment

Figure 14: We expect brokers to increase their share of distribution over the forecast period

Figure 15: Cyber insurance cancellations remained a key issue in 2022

Figure 16: The majority of sole traders believe their company will not be a target of a cyberattack

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