ICMIF hails growing market share for Europe’s mutual and co-op insurers

In 2020 alone, European mutual insurers collectively wrote €469bn in insurance premiums

Mutual and co-operative insurers have a 33.4% market share in Europe, according to the latest Mutual Market Share report from the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF).

The report reveals that mutual and co-op insurers reached a record market share high of 33.4% in 2020, which represents a 1.6 percentage-point increase from 2019 and a 9.2 percentage-point increase from the first available market share figure (24.2%) recorded in 2007.

It adds that European mutuals have outperformed the total European insurance market in short- and long-term comparisons of total, life, and non-life premium growth by 17.8, 17.2, and 11.1 percentage points, respectively.

In 2020 alone, European mutual insurers collectively wrote €469bn in insurance premiums, consisting of €200bn in life business and €268bn in non-life business. The figure represents a negative annual growth of -1.6% from the previous year (2019: €476bn) and a five-year growth of 11.3% and a ten-year growth of 32.1%.

 “The findings are hugely encouraging and we can clearly see that the mutual and co-operative insurance sector in Europe is continuing to grow incredibly well, with European mutual insurers significantly outperforming the total insurance market in Europe in both short- and long -term comparisons,” said ICMIF CEO Shaun Tarbuck.

“In 2022, ICMIF is celebrating its centenary year and to do so knowing that our sector is growing so well in Europe is an additional reason for us to celebrate.”

Grzegorz Buczkowski, president of the Association of Mutual Insurers and Insurance Cooperatives in Europe (AMICE) said: “Europe’s mutual and co-operative insurers have shown great resilience in the face of the global pandemic challenge, and this is reflected in the information on the European mutual market share described in this report.

“The results for Europe seen in this report show that even under the pandemic pressures across the region, Europe’s life and non-life mutual/co-operative insurance market share increased from the previous year. In 2020, mutual/co-operative insurers registered a much lower decrease in total premium income (-1.6%) compared to the significant decrease in insurance premiums across the total European insurance market (-6.7%).

“The 10-year trends indicate the continuing attraction of the mutual/co-operative insurance model, with total growth in premium of 32.1% over the period, resulting in premium income of €469bn in 2020. In 2020, mutual/co-operative insurers registered a market share of 33.4%, representing more than 25% of the local market in 13 countries.”

Mr Buczkowski added that local legal recognitions of the mutual insurance model vary, often reflecting national characteristics and market developments over the years. “This report clearly shows that irrespective of these local differences, the mutual/co-operative insurance model has a vital role both in individual countries and across Europe, empowering policyholders, offering diversity and competition in the marketplace, and providing economic stability across the region,” he said.