The latest Global Mutual Market Share report published by the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF), which covers figures from 2014, shows the sector’s global reach is continuing to expand.
ICMIF analysed the premium income, assets and investments of 5,000 mutual and co-operative insurance companies from 77 countries around the world and found the number of people protected by mutual and co-operative insurance (as members or policyholders) grew to 955 million in 2014, up from 923 million in 2013. Collectively, mutual and co-operative insurers employed 1.11 million people worldwide in 2014 – an increase of over 20% since before the global financial crisis (2007: 0.92 million).
Between 2007 and 2014, mutual and co-operative insurers grew their premium income by 30%, compared with 13.6% by the total insurance market during the same period, meaning the global market share of the mutual and co-operative sector grew from 23.7% to 27.0%. The report also explored the financial strength of mutual and co-operative insurers, with record levels of assets reported in 2014 (USD$8.3tn), representing around a third of the insurance industry’s total asset values in developed markets. Investment assets of the mutual and co-operative sector also reached their highest ever in 2014 ($6.9tn).
“The mutual and co-operative insurance sector has maintained strong levels of financial growth and market share in 2014 across the vast majority of insurance markets, while increasing its social impact, both as an insurer and an employer,” said Anders Sundström, chair of ICMIF. “These figures help us to promote co-operative and mutual insurers as preferred insurance providers, and demonstrate their contribution to long-term socio-economic growth.”
Shaun Tarbuck, chief executive of ICMIF, believes the increase in mutual and co-operative insurers’ market share since the start of the global financial crisis highlighted the strong benefits of the business model. “There has been a shift in consumers’ buying behaviour since the financial crisis, and this has given the mutual and co-operative insurance model a competitive advantage against shareholder-owned insurance companies,” he said.
[Co-op and mutual insurance] is a sector committed to putting people and the planet before profit, and to protect lives and livelihoods
“Mutual and co-operative insurers tend to have a greater level of trust and customer satisfaction associated with them, as their intentions are closely aligned with that of the policyholder (their members). Also, mutual and co-operative insurers benefit from a long term perspective and can be run to protect the interest of the business and its customers, unlike joint-stock companies, which are under pressure to generate short-term profits for external shareholders.”
Mr Sundström added: “This latest statistical research clearly demonstrates the mutual and co-operative sector’s socio-economic relevance; it is a sector committed to putting people and the planet before profit, and to protect lives and livelihoods.”