Mutual and co-operative insurers continue to grow global market share

According to a new ICMIF report, the market share of mutual and co-operative insurers was 26.2% in 2021

The co-op and mutual insurance sectors have continued to grow their share of the world market, figures from the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) show.

The trade body has just published this year’s Global Mutual Market Share report, which shows that over 4,400 mutual insurers collectively wrote US$1.42tn (£1.12tn) in insurance premiums in 2021. The report analyses the premium income, assets, investments, number of employees and number of members/policyholders of mutual and co-operative insurance companies in 79 countries and territories in 2021.

In addition to these figures, the study also features a number of case studies from member organisations which aim to show how ICMIF members supported member policyholders, local communities and even emergency/medical services while maintaining resilience during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the report, the market share of mutual and co-operative insurers was 26.2% in 2021 (2020: 26.4%). The figure is higher (30.1% in 2021,) if China, the second-largest insurance market in the world with negligible mutual penetration (0.2% market share), is excluded.

The countries with the largest insurance markets in terms of mutual/co-operative market share are Netherlands (59.4%), Finland (56.7%), France (52.6%), Norway (50.0%), Sweden (49.0%), Slovakia (48.7%), Denmark (47.0%), Spain (46.9%), Germany (46.0%), and the USA (40.8%). At the other end of the spectrum were Indonesia, Israel, Iceland, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Cyprus where no mutual business was recorded for the insurance sector. The report is based on data from 79 countries, 73 of which have a mutual insurance sector. 

Mutual and co-operative insurance accounted for more than 25% of the national market in 19 countries. Mutual insurers in 58% of the countries included in this report experienced a growth in their national market share between 2011 and 2021.

Rob Wesseling, president and CEO, Co-operators (Canada) and chair of ICMIF, said: “The mutual and co-operative insurance model’s positive performance is reflected in its premium income, which reached an all-time high of USD 1.4 trillion in 2021, with positive annual growth in 12 out of 14 years since 2007.

“The model’s success supports sustainable and inclusive economic development, promoting social cohesion and community development by encouraging member participation in decision-making, whilst providing employment opportunities for 1.1 million people worldwide in 2021.”

Shaun Tarbuck, ICMIF chief executive, said: “ICMIF is delighted to publish the latest edition of its comprehensive Global Mutual Market Share research. The 2023 edition provides a much sought-after update on the size and relevance of the global mutual and co-operative insurance sector and shows how resilient the mutual/co-operative market was over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

He added that the case studies from ICMIF members included in the report “really do demonstrate the social and community impact of the mutual/co-operative business model, especially during times of crisis”.

“In the context of many more global challenges faced across the world, we will continue to report on the performance of the global mutual/co-operative and how the sector continues to support policyholders, communities and societies in a way that differentiates itself from the rest of the insurance market.”