Commercial insurance has become a highly competitive market, and the distribution of its products is evolving. Brokers continue to hold the highest share of the commercial market, despite growth in other channels. The small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) market has been driving this change. SMEs that require less comprehensive insurance products have been moving away from the added-value advice service from brokers, instead shifting towards self-service, online purchasing platforms.
The broker landscape continues to be dominated by the top few global companies and a multitude of smaller firms. Consolidation of the broker market is set to continue; however, the rate of acquisitions has significantly slowed after the major consolidation and growth rush of the late 2000s. Brokers are now looking to use their existing products and sectors of expertise to grow, meanwhile focusing on developing their online propositions to enable them to regain share previously lost by the SME market.
The Insurance Act 2015, which comes into force in August 2016 will make significant changes to commercial contract law. It will make contracts more certain and passes the responsibility of compliance to insurers. It will promote better communication and co-operation between all parties involved in arranging commercial contracts, ultimately giving underwriters a better understanding of the practices and the subsequent risks of those being insured.
Verdict Financial's UK Commercial Insurance Distribution 2016 report provides an in-depth study into the trends of commercial insurance distribution. It discusses the influence of the differing purchasing behaviours of SMEs compared to larger corporate businesses, and pays particular attention to the role and strategies of brokers within product distribution. It addresses the challenges the market is facing, and key changes in regulation, before concluding with a five-year forecast for each distribution channel.
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