AXA and Aviva dominate the SME insurance space across the vast majority of the 16 commercial products listed in our 2017 UK SME Insurance Survey. Other insurers present in the market play to their strengths when servicing SMEs. Hiscox and Zurich are popular providers for liability products while Allianz and Direct Line are strong in commercial motor insurance. As the number of providers supplying SME insurance grows; and there is more choice available to potential customers - those offering the best deals in the terms of the level of cover, the quality of the overall package, price, and (for the micro space in particular) omni-channel availability are most likely to succeed.
Out of the 16 lines of insurance, AXA and Aviva came first and second in most lines, with either one of the two appearing as most selected brand in 14. Bupa’s top position in private medical insurance and NFU Mutual’s in commercial motor coaches/farm vehicles (fleet) are the only exceptions. AXA is market leader in 10 out of the 16 lines, while Aviva leads in four - all of which were forms of commercial motor insurance. The main theme at the top of the market is the slow fade of AXA’s dominance. While it has remained the largest player in most lines within our survey, its leading margin has been gradually declining over the past three years.
Key Findings included in this report:
- AXA dominates in terms of individual lines, but its overall market share has taken a substantial hit, falling by 7.5 percentage points (pp) to 13.9% in 2017. This has allowed Aviva to close the gap, despite its share also falling.
- Third-placed Allianz remains over 5pp behind Aviva, which highlights that the top two are still way ahead of other brands despite their declines.
- AXA’s position in the overall market is not replicated in brokers’ preference for business placement, where Allianz and Aviva topped packaged and non-packaged insurance respectively.
The report "UK SME Insurance: Competitor Dynamics 2017", looks at which insurers lead the way in the SME segment and how they are developing their propositions, as well as highlighting how competitor positions vary between micro, small, and medium enterprises. It examines which insurers are winning over brokers and which companies SMEs are placing their business with.
Companies mentioned in this report: AXA, Aviva, Allianz, Direct Line, Zurich, Hiscox, RSA, NFU Mutual, Lloyds, Travelers, LV=, AA
- AXA and Aviva lead the SME insurance space, with 13.9% and 11.3% of SMEs respectively holding a commercial insurance policy with these providers.
- AXA remains dominant across the 16 product lines, but Aviva is closing the gap.
- Brokers place the most SME business with Allianz, Aviva, and AXA.
- Benchmark yourself against the rest of the market.
- Ensure you remain competitive as new innovations and insurance models begin to enter the market.
- Adapt your distribution strategy to ensure it is efficient and still meets customer purchasing behavior.
1.1. AXA and Aviva continue to lead the market
1.2. Key findings
1.3. Critical success factors
2. THE SME MARKET AND ITS LEADING COMPETITORS
2.2. Allianz and Aviva continue to lead the way for brokers
2.3. Aviva’s dominance in non-packaged insurance has been challenged
2.4. The increasing focus on cybercrime is an opportunity for insurers
2.4.1. Some insurers are looking to innovate to gain an edge in a tough market
2.5. The key players
2.5.1. AXA is looking into its commercial motor offering
2.5.2. Aviva revamps cyber cover
2.5.3. Allianz focuses on Brexit
2.5.4. Hiscox embraces technology
2.5.5. Zurich targets education
2.6. Technology is emerging in the market
2.6.1. New entrants are rare, but the Financial Conduct Authority sandbox is showing promise
3. PRODUCT POSITIONING
3.1. AXA is the dominant insurer, but Aviva is closing the gap
3.1.1. Aviva performs well in commercial motor lines, while Allianz is popular with larger SMEs
3.1.2. Hiscox is popular in non-motor lines
3.1.3. Direct Line remains strong in motor lines
3.1.4. NFU Mutual is strong in niche commercial motor lines
4.1. Hiscox has the edge in customer satisfaction
5.1. Abbreviations and acronyms
5.3.1. 2017 UK SME Insurance Survey
5.3.2. 2017 UK Commercial Broker Survey
List of Tables
Table 1: Market share of packaged SME insurance, 2013-17
Table 2: Market share of non-packaged SME insurance, 2013-17
Table 3: Full breakdown of the leading five insurers across all lines, 2017
Table 4: Top five insurers for business interruption insurance, 2017
Table 5: Top five insurers for directors and officers insurance, 2017
Table 6: Top five insurers for employers’ liability insurance, 2017
Table 7: Top five insurers for key man insurance, 2017
Table 8: Top five insurers for personal accident and business travel insurance, 2017
Table 9: Top five insurers for property insurance, 2017
Table 10: Top five insurers for professional indemnity insurance, 2017
Table 11: Top five insurers for public liability insurance, 2017
Table 12: Top five insurers for private medical insurance, 2017
Table 13: Top five insurers for cyber insurance, 2017
Table 14: Top five insurers for commercial motor: company car (single), 2017
Table 15: Top five insurers for commercial motor: company car (fleet), 2017
Table 16: Top five insurers for commercial motor: van (single), 2017
Table 17: Top five insurers for commercial motor: van (fleet), 2017
Table 18: Top five insurers for other commercial motor e.g. coaches/farm vehicles (single), 2017
Table 19: Top five insurers for other commercial motor e.g. coaches/ farm vehicles (fleet), 2017
Table 20: Customer satisfaction among leading insurers in selected lines, 2017
Table 21: Leading insurers’ NPS for selected lines, 2017
List of Figures
Figure 1: Allianz continues to lead Aviva in terms of broker preference for packaged SME insurance
Figure 2: Aviva leads the way in non-packaged SME insurance
Figure 3: AXA leads the way in more than half of SME insurance lines
Figure 4: AXA remains the leading insurer, while Hiscox has overtaken Zurich
Figure 5: AXA leads the way for business interruption insurance
Figure 6: AXA still leads the way for directors and officers liability, but Aviva has closed the gap
Figure 7: Hiscox has climbed to third place in employers’ liability, overtaking Allianz
Figure 8: Aviva has eaten into AXA’s lead, with the top two remaining dominant in key man insurance
Figure 9: Aviva, Allianz, and Zurich have reduced AXA’s lead in personal accident and business travel
Figure 10: Allianz has overtaken Zurich in property insurance
Figure 11: Hiscox is very competitive in the professional indemnity market
Figure 12: Little change has been witnessed among the top three public liability insurers
Figure 13: Despite AXA’s gains, Bupa’s lead in private medical remains substantial
Figure 14: Allianz and AA displaced AIG and Zurich in the cyber insurance top five
Figure 15: Aviva has pulled away from AXA in single car insurance
Figure 16: Aviva has drawn level with AXA in company car fleet insurance
Figure 17: AA entered the top three for single van insurance
Figure 18: Aviva leads van fleet insurance, with Admiral entering the top five
Figure 19: Aviva now leads in single coaches and farm vehicles insurance
Figure 20: NFU Mutual jumped to first place for fleet coaches and farm vehicles
Figure 21: Hiscox receives positive feedback from customers, while AXA is heavily criticized
Figure 22: AXA and Allianz are struggling to keep customers happy