UK Employers’ Liability Insurance: Market Dynamics and Opportunities 2019

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The UK employers’ liability insurance market is quite volatile. The market is more closely aligned to developments in the UK economy compared to other products. While uncertainty around Brexit has diminished, trade negotiations over the next year will determine the impact leaving the EU will have on the UK’s economy.

There are also other factors – including the negative Ogden rate and the continuing growth of e-commerce and the gig economy – that will affect the employers’ liability market going forward. While the market contracted in 2018, underwriting has never been more profitable, partly due to a sustained reduction in workplace injuries. The market will continue to fluctuate over the next five years, but will see marginal growth by the end of 2023. However, much of this estimate stems from a favorable outcome to the Brexit negotiations. If a trade agreement cannot be agreed upon between the government and the EU, the UK economy and the employers’ liability market will likely suffer as a result.

This report tracks the health and shape of the employers’ liability market – taking into account market size, profitability and performance ratios, and the claims environment. Bringing this to life, the context of the UK’s economic growth, business landscape, and the 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 employers’ liability market contracted by 2.3% in 2018, with GWP falling to £1,213m.

– Employers’ liability experienced the highest underwriting profit on record at £193m.

– The proportion of non-fatal injuries in the workplace fell by 13.9% between 2012 and 2019, leading to fewer claims being made.

– AIG is the largest general liability insurer in the UK, accounting for 19.3% of GWP.

Reasons to Buy

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

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

NFU Mutual
British Airways

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


1.1. The employers’ liability market hinges on the strength of the UK economy

1.2. Key findings

1.3. Critical success factors


2.1. Introduction

2.2. At the beginning of 2019 there were

1.4 million employing businesses in the UK

2.2.1. Micro businesses have grown the most over the past seven years

2.2.2. Wales saw the largest growth in the number of employing businesses at the start of 2019

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

2.3. The employers’ liability market has marginally decreased since 2014

2.3.1. Changes to the Ogden rate will continue to affect premiums

2.4. Employers’ liability recorded its highest ever underwriting profit

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

2.5.1. Workplace injuries continue to fall as safety standards improve

2.6. Personal injury market reforms will impact employers’ liability claims

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

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

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


3.1. Introduction

3.2. All the top players in the liability market strengthened their position

3.2.1. The degree of competitiveness in the market has fallen

3.2.2. Competitiveness in the SME landscape is a bit stronger

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

3.2.4. AXA introduced a wellness element to its employers’ liability product


4.1. Employers’ liability is forecast to continue growing despite Brexit-related uncertainty

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

4.2.1. Trade negotiations will heavily influence the UK’s economy post-Brexit

4.2.2. Online shopping reduces the need for in-store employees, but opens up demand for new insurance products

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

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

4.2.5. Wearable tech could make the workplace even safer


5.1. Abbreviations and acronyms

5.2. Definitions

5.2.1. SME

5.3. Methodology

5.3.1. UK Top 20 General Insurance Competitor Analytics methodology

5.3.2. GlobalData’s UK SME Insurance Surveys

5.4. HHI

5.5. Forecasting methodology

5.6. Secondary sources

5.7. Further reading


List of Tables

Table 1: The number of employing private sector businesses and employment in the UK, 2012-18

Table 2: The number of UK private sector businesses by number of employees, 2012-18

Table 3: The number of private sector employees and businesses by industry, 2018

Table 4: Growth rate of private sector businesses and employees by industry, 2017-18

Table 5: Employers’ liability ratios, 2013-18

Table 6: Total number of personal injury claims in the employers’ liability market, 2010-19

Table 7: Total number of fatalities and injuries in the workplace, 2012-19p

Table 8: Total number of injuries spilt by severity, 2012-19p

Table 9: The UK’s top general liability insurers by GWP (£000s), 2017-18

Table 10: Measures of competition in the total liability market, 2016-18

Table 11: Employers’ liability market GWP forecasts, 2018-23f


List of Figures

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

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

Figure 3: Growth in the number of businesses outpaces growth in the number of employees

Figure 4: The employers’ liability insurance market continues to fluctuate

Figure 5: The employers’ liability market moved into profitability in 2017

Figure 6: The number of recorded claims has seen a long-term decline

Figure 7: The average claims cost has remained steady in recent years

Figure 8: The number of non-fatal workplace injuries is in long-term decline

Figure 9: All types of injuries have continued to decline year on year

Figure 10: AIG strengthened its position as market leader in 2018

Figure 11: Aviva is the most popular provider among SMEs

Figure 12: Growth in the employers’ liability market will continue to fluctuate

Figure 13: Forecasting methodology

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