UK Employers’ Liability Insurance: Market Dynamics and Opportunities 2018

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"UK Employers’ Liability Insurance: Market Dynamics and Opportunities 2018", report tracks the health and shape of the employers’ liability market – taking into account market size, profitability, performance ratios, and the claims environment. Bringing this to life, the context of the UK’s economic growth and business landscape, as well as the possible impact of a post-Brexit environment, are all taken into consideration to build a full picture of this space. Key announcements, shifts in the market, and likely future changes are analyzed for impact across all relevant stakeholders.

The UK employers’ liability market has faced a turbulent period. Factors such as Brexit impacting the underlying drivers of demand and the decision to set the Ogden discount rate at -0.75% have forced insurers to raise premiums in order to protect themselves from increased costs. Despite these challenging conditions the employers’ liability market experienced growth in 2017, with gross written premiums (GWP) increasing by 3%. The future of the space will undoubtedly be influenced by the outcome of Brexit on the UK economy, meaning the outlook is uncertain.


– The employers’ liability market grew by 3.4% in 2017 as GWP reached £1,242m.

– Changes to the Ogden rate forced insurers to increase premiums, and can be seen as one of the driving forces behind growth in 2017. But despite this increase the market has remained highly competitive.

– The underlying demand drivers of business numbers and employee numbers both rose, giving the employers’ liability market an increased potential customer base.

Reasons to Buy

– Review your strategy against both existing and new challenges regarding the employers’ liability market.

– Benchmark against the market's experience of size, growth, performance, and claims environment.

Liberty Mutual

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


1.1. Market summary 2

1.2. Key findings 2

1.3. Critical success factors 2


2.1. Introduction 7

2.2. The number of businesses in the UK increased by 3% in 2017, helping drive demand 7

2.2.1. Micro businesses saw the biggest growth in 2017 9

2.2.2. London acted as the main catalyst for growth over the review period 9

2.2.3. Specialist insurers may face challenges as growth rates vary considerably across industries 10

2.3. The employers’ liability market returned to growth in 2017 following a large contraction in 2016 15

2.3.1. Ogden rate upheaval has had an impact on premiums 16

2.4. Employers’ liability made its first underwriting profit since 2005 16

2.5. Claims numbers continue to fall following a pre-LASPO surge 18

2.5.1. Workplace injuries continue to fall as safety standards increase 21

2.6. Reforms in the personal injury market will impact employers’ liability claims 24

2.6.1. Proposed changes to the Ogden rate will drive claims cost in the employers’ liability market 24

2.6.2. Insurers need to be alert to CMC activity as the Civil Liability Bill will shift CMCs’ focus 25

2.6.3. Changes to the small claims track limit will have a negligible impact on employers’ liability 25


3.1. The total liability market experienced a slight increase in competition in 2017 27

3.1.1. AIG Europe aims to provide a more comprehensive employers’ liability product 29

3.1.2. Zurich holds firm as the second-largest provider in the total liability market 29

3.1.3. Aviva moves from fifth to third as QBE loses out 29

3.1.4. Towergate Underwriting increases activity in the employers’ liability market 30


4.1. The employers’ liability market is forecast to continue growing despite Brexit-related uncertainty 31

4.2. A number of factors will influence the growth of the market 32

4.2.1. Brexit poses the biggest threat to employers’ liability 32

4.2.2. Consumer purchasing behavior is driving change in business models and shaping the employers’ liability market 34

4.2.3. The expanding gig economy could help grow the employers’ liability market 34

4.2.4. Personal injury claims could become a concern for the profitability of the market 35

4.2.5. The industry must adapt to new working practices brought about by technology 35

4.2.6. Mental health could be a potential new area for claims 36


5.1. Abbreviations and acronyms 37

5.3. Forecasting methodology 38

5.4. Bibliography 38

5.5. Further reading 39


List of Tables

Table 1: The number of private sector businesses and employment in the UK, 2013-17 8

Table 2: The number of UK private sector businesses by number of employees, 2013-17 9

Table 3: The number of employees and businesses by industry, 2017 11

Table 4: Growth rate of businesses and employees by industry, 2016-17 14

Table 5: UK employers’ liability and total liability market GWP, 2013-17 16

Table 6: Employers’ liability underwriting result and ratios, 2013-17 18

Table 7: Total number of personal injury claims in the employers’ liability market, 2010-18 19

Table 8: Total number of fatalities and injuries in the workplace, 2012-17 22

Table 9: Total number of injuries spilt by severity, 2012-17 24

Table 10: Top 10 providers by market share in the total liability market, 2016-17 27

Table 11: Measures of competition in the total liability market, 2016-17 29

Table 12: Employers’ liability market GWP forecasts, 2018f-22f 31


List of Figures

Figure 1: The key drivers of the employers’ liability market continue to increase 8

Figure 2: Growth in the number of private businesses is focused in London 10

Figure 3: Across most industries the growth in the number of businesses outpaced employee’s 12

Figure 4: Figure 3 key 13

Figure 5: The employers’ liability market experienced slight growth in 2017 15

Figure 6: The employers’ liability market moved into profitability in 2017 17

Figure 7: The number of recorded claims continued to fall 20

Figure 8: The average cost of claims continues to fall 21

Figure 9: The number of non-fatal workplace injuries is falling year on year 22

Figure 10: All types of injuries have continued to decline year on year 23

Figure 11: There were no new entrants to the top 10 total liability providers in 2017 28

Figure 12: The employers’ liability market is set to face a turbulent few years 32

Figure 13: Forecasting methodology 38

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