NOVEMBER 04, 2019 11:16:05 Eastern Standard Time

Best’s Market Segment Report: European Insurers: Concentration, Competition and Markets Remain Key

 Mathilde Jakobsen
Director, Analytics
+31 20 308 5427

Angela Yeo
Senior Director, Analytics &
Head of Operations - Analytics
+31 20 308 5421
Edem Kuenyehia
Director, Market Development &
+44 20 7397 0280

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644


LONDON - NOVEMBER 04, 2019 11:16:05 Eastern Standard Time
The primary focus of Europe’s largest non-life insurers continues to be on their local markets, with most focused on the retail segments, and in particular, the personal lines business. Most European countries have relatively stable non-life insurance segments, which although competitive, are technically profitable for the market overall. Although some European countries are currently experiencing a level of economic and political instability, insurers have strategies in place for managing this environment.

A new Best’s Market Segment Report, “European Insurers: Concentration, Competition and Markets Remain Key,” states that this stability is mirrored in AM Best’s ranking of the largest 30 non-life insurers, with no new entrants into the ranking and no movements in the positions of the top five players, as Allianz remained in the No. 1 spot, followed by Lloyd’s, AXA, Chubb and Zurich Insurance Group. Lower down the ranking, most entities have moved up or down by only one position.

Mathilde Jakobsen, director, analytics, said: “The gross premiums written of the five largest insurers in this ranking has been largely stable at just under 50%. When we look at the largest 10, we note that the proportion of premiums accounted for by them is also unchanged at 70%. Despite this concentration, most European insurance segments are experiencing a relatively strong level of competition. Furthermore, each market has its own idiosyncrasies, with product and distribution channel mix dictated by the history and culture of each particular country, with some of the groups underwriting the majority of their insurance portfolios in their country of domicile.”

The report also looked at the regulatory solvency positions of the largest 30 European non-life insurers for 2018 and 2017. Angela Yeo, senior director, analytics & head of operations - analytics, added: “Of the groups for which Solvency II ratios are available, only a handful have ratios below 170% and more than half have ratios above 200%, illustrating the strong solvency position of the European insurance sector. The highest ratios tend to be held by mutual groups, which do not have to consider return on equity for shareholders, and by those underwriting reinsurance and large corporate risks, where strong solvency is a competitive advantage.”

To access the full copy of this commentary, please visit .

AM Best is a global credit rating agency and information provider with an exclusive focus on the insurance industry.