United Kingdom (UK) Private Motor Insurance – Distribution and Marketing 2021

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The UK advertising spending on private motor insurance in 2020 was valued at GBP100.6 million which was an increase of more than 14% as compared to 2019. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures, private motor insurance providers increased advertising in a bid to attract more customers. Among personal lines products such as home, motor, pet, and travel, advertising spending on private motor insurance was the highest during the first half of 2021. TV accounted for the largest share among the media types used for the UK’s private motor insurance advertising in 2020, followed by direct mail, and others. The internet (including both PCs and smartphones/tablets) and providers’ apps account for more than half of purchases across banks, insurers, and PCWs. Aviva, Admiral, and Direct Line are some of the major insurers in the UK’s private motor insurance market.

Overview of the UK private motor insurance advertising market

Overview of the UK private motor insurance advertising market

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What are the market dynamics of the UK private motor insurance market?

As per a European Commission mandate, all new cars launched in the EU in 2022 must be fitted with speed limiters. Despite exiting the EU, the UK has agreed to abide by this rule. The mandate aims to limit speeding among drivers. The use of speed limiters will help reduce the number of accidents, thereby reducing claims – which will translate to higher profitability for insurers. The UK’s Vehicle Certification Agency has announced that the installation of electronic data recorders, automated emergency braking systems, and devices that improve visibility will become standard in semi-trucks in 2022. In 2021, the EU announced it would waive green card obligations for motorists and road haulers traveling to the EU region. The green card obligation was put in place during the Brexit transition. Post-Brexit, UK residents injured in a traffic accident in the European Economic Area are allowed to make claims in the UK according to amendments to the Motor Vehicles (Compulsory Insurance) Regulations 2003.

In August 2020, the UK Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles introduced a consultation regarding the safe use of automated lane-keeping systems (ALKS). In April 2021, the UK government legalized level 3 automated vehicles, and the Department for Transport laid out parameters for ALKS that allow drivers to legally take their hands off the wheel when the vehicle is driving itself. However, the driver needs to stay alert and be able to take over the wheel within 10 seconds as and when requested by the automated system. Government agency Innovate UK launched the UK Transport Vision 2050 plan in August 2021, which aims to automate the urban transport system, air transport, rail freight, ferries to and from UK islands, and 90% of motorway heavy goods vehicles by 2050.

In May 2021, the government overhauled whiplash claims rules. The rules introduced a computerized portal system and a ban on settling whiplash claims without medical evidence. The new rules are expected to reduce motor insurance premiums. COVID-19 and the subsequent implementation of travel restrictions resulted in a reduction in motor insurance claims in 2021. The cost of motor insurance decreased by 7.0% in 2021 according to the Association of British Insurers’ latest Motor Insurance Premium Tracker. Insurance companies and insurtech firms are designing solutions to speed up claims processing. In August 2020, fintech solutions provider OneConnect partnered with Swiss Re UK to co-develop a digital end-to-end solution for motor claims handling for the European marketplace.

What are the key categories of the UK private motor insurance advertising market?

The UK private motor insurance advertising market is categorized by media type into TV, direct mail, digital, press, and others. TV accounted for the largest share among the media types used for the UK’s private motor insurance advertising in 2020, followed by direct mail, others, digital, and press. GoCompare was the largest spender amongst the UK’s private motor insurance advertisers in H1 2021, followed by Direct Line, and LV=. There are contrasting strategies adopted by insurers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Some players have sought to reduce advertising spending in the short term in a bid to cut costs, while others are aiming to boost policy sales and capitalize on such reductions. In order to connect with customers amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a large proportion of advertisers spent heavily on TV advertising in H1 2021.

UK private motor insurance advertising market, by key categories

UK private motor insurance advertising market, by key categories

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Which are the major insurers in the UK private motor insurance market?

Admiral was the top private motor insurance provider of the UK in 2021, followed by Aviva, Direct Line, Hastings Direct, and LV=. In December 2020, Admiral partnered with UK-based reverse price comparison site Honcho, with Admiral multi-car insurance now offered via Honcho’s platform. Of the top 10 providers, five witnessed an increase in their market share during 2020–21. Meanwhile, four insurers recorded decreases and Tesco Bank’s share remained unchanged. During 2019–20, seven of the top 10 witnessed an increase in market share. The market became more concentrated and less competitive in 2021, with the market share of the top 10 private motor insurers rising in 2021.

UK private motor insurance market, by key companies

UK private motor insurance market, by key companies

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Market report scope

Market size (year – 2020) GBP100.6 million
Key categories TV, direct mail, digital, press, and others.
Key channels Bank, broker, insurer, and PCW
Key companies Admiral, Aviva, Direct Line, Hastings Direct, LV=, Churchill, AXA, Saga, Tesco Bank, and The AA


  • Admiral remained the leading provider despite a decrease in market share. Aviva’s share increased, meaning that the gap between the two largest providers has narrowed.
  • Less than 5% of policyholders were new to the market in 2021, indicating that growth in market share was driven by capturing switchers.
  • Visiting a PCW is the most popular pre-purchase activity, with close to 60% of customers doing so.
  • Purchasing motor insurance online is by far the preferred method, accounting for over 71% of all purchases.

Reasons to Buy

  • Understand consumer purchasing decisions and how these will influence the private motor market over the next few years.
  • Improve customer engagement by recognizing what is most important to them and how insurers can adapt their products and services to meet their needs.
  • Compare the Net Promoter Scores of the leading motor insurance providers.
  • Discover which providers lead the way in the private motor insurance space and learn about new product innovations.
  • Adapt your distribution strategy to ensure it still meets customer purchasing behaviors.

Direct Line
Hastings Direct
Tesco Bank
The AA
Compare the Market
Getsafe Insurance
Somerset Bridge
Lloyds Bank
Co-op Insurance
NFU Mutual
Adrian Flux

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

The Purchasing Journey

Provider Engagement

Channel View


Future Market


Frequently asked questions

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