+353-1-416-8900REST OF WORLD
+44-20-3973-8888REST OF WORLD
1-917-300-0470EAST COAST U.S
1-800-526-8630U.S. (TOLL FREE)

UK SME Insurance - Market Dynamics and Opportunities 2023

  • PDF Icon


  • 47 Pages
  • December 2023
  • Region: United Kingdom
  • GlobalData
  • ID: 5575165
The UK SME insurance space generated approximately GBP13.96 billion in gross written premiums (GWP) in 2022, growing by 7.2%. Moreover, the market is set to grow by 11.2% in 2023e, reaching a value of GBP15.52 billion. The primary factor contributing to GWP growth in 2023 was a large year-round hardening of premiums. Many insurance lines experienced significant increases in the cost of repayments due to inflation and issues with the global supply chain, which led insurers to raise premiums. Meanwhile, penetration rates increased across some product lines compared to the prior year, allowing insurers to grow the volume of policies sold. Accompanying this, there was an increase in the number of SMEs in the UK.

This report looks at the state of the UK SME insurance market. It sizes the market in 2023 and forecasts future GWP until 2027. It utilizes the annual UK SME Insurance Survey to analyze SMEs’ attitudes to insurance. The report also explores the key factors impacting the market in 2023 and beyond.


  • The number of SMEs in the UK increased by 0.8% in 2023, rising from 5,501,260 to 5,547,170.
  • The cost-of-living crisis is SMEs’ biggest concern, with 81.8% of SMEs concerned to some degree.
  • The SME insurance market is set to be worth GBP15.52 billion in 2023e, up 11.2% on 2022.
  • The publisher forecasts the SME insurance market to reach GBP17.32 billion in 2027, recording a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.4% over 2022-27.

Reasons to Buy

  • Learn about the significance of SMEs within the commercial insurance market and how they are influenced by the UK economy.
  • Identify the effects of the cost-of-living crisis on the UK SME insurance space, as well as other challenges faced by SMEs.
  • Discover the publisher's forecasts for the SME insurance market.
  • Identify growth opportunities in the SME space.

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary
1.1 Claims inflation has led to strong premium growth
1.2 Key findings
1.3 Critical success factors
2. The Shape of the UK SME Market
2.1 Introduction
2.2 SMEs account for the vast majority of UK businesses
2.3 Macroeconomic impact on the SME market
2.4 UK GDP has fluctuated since the COVID-19 pandemic
2.5 SMEs’ top concern in 2023 is the cost-of-living crisis
3. The UK SME Insurance Market
3.1 The SME insurance market registered growth of 7.2% in 2022, and is set to have grown further in 2023e
3.2 SMEs are increasingly purchasing insurance via packages
3.3 Private medical insurance has witnessed the highest cancellation rate due to the cost-of-living crisis
3.4 Insurers should educate SMEs on the importance of employers’ liability insurance
3.5 Usage-based policies can benefit SMEs
3.6 Penetration rates vary across different lines of products
3.7 Larger SMEs are more likely to have most types of insurance
4. The Future of the UK SME Insurance Market
4.1 SME GWP is set to rise steadily to GBP17.32 billion by 2027
5. Appendix
5.1 Abbreviations, acronyms, and initialisms
5.2 Definitions
5.3 Methodology
5.4 Secondary sources
5.5 Further reading
  • About the Publisher
  • Contact the Publisher
List of Tables
Table 1: The number of SMEs in the UK private sector by business size, 2014-23
Table 2: UK private enterprise volume, employment, employees, and turnover by business size as of the start of 2023
Table 3: The number of company registrations in the UK (000s), 2016-23
Table 4: Policy cancellations due to the cost-of-living crisis by products and SME size, 2023
Table 5: Product uptake among UK SMEs, 2019-23
List of Figures
Figure 1: The vast majority of UK private enterprises are micro-sized firms, but they only account for around one fifth of turnover
Figure 2: In Q2 2023, quarterly company insolvencies reached over 6,300 for the first time since 2009
Figure 3: Wholesalers and retailers account for a third of all SME turnover in 2023
Figure 4: The cost-of-living crisis remains a concern for the majority of SMEs
Figure 5: The UK’s GDP increased by 1.4% in Q3 2023
Figure 6: The number of people receiving Universal Credit is rising, albeit at a slow pace
Figure 7: The UK’s unemployment rate began to rise in 2023
Figure 8: The annual growth rate for weekly earnings returned to positive territory in 2023
Figure 9: The cost-of-living crisis remains the top concern for SMEs
Figure 10: Over 80% of businesses in the health and social sector are concerned about the cost-of-living crisis
Figure 11: Over three quarters of non-profit SMEs are concerned about generating enough revenue to keep their business going
Figure 12: The SME insurance market experienced growth in 2022, and is expected to increase further in 2023
Figure 13: Renewals saw increased premiums for cyber, property, and business interruption insurance in 2023
Figure 14: Insurance rates increased year on year in Q1 2023, with property the key driver
Figure 15: Over 80% of medium-sized enterprises purchase insurance via a package
Figure 16: The largest proportion of cancellations due to the cost-of-living crisis were seen in private medical insurance
Figure 17: Some SMEs are not aware employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement
Figure 18: Over half of SMEs do not have a usage-based insurance policy
Figure 19: Among SMEs without usage-based commercial vehicle insurance, around three quarters would be interested in such policies if they reduced their premiums
Figure 20: SMEs rank improved safety measures as the most important feature of usage-based car insurance
Figure 21: Insurers have experienced varying degrees of success in terms of product penetration
Figure 22: There is a positive correlation between size of business and insurance penetration rates
Figure 23: SME insurance GWP is set to reach GBP17.32 billion in 2027
Figure 24: Over half of SMEs would consider using an insurance app
Figure 25: Smaller firms exhibit a lower level of comfort when it comes to AI assessing their insurance requirements
Figure 26: SMEs believe AI can evaluate their insurance needs and suggest the best coverage options more efficiently than humans
Figure 27: Sole traders place high value on human expertise and advice
Figure 28: Larger SMEs are more comfortable with AI-powered chatbots for insurance enquiries
Figure 29: Larger businesses are more likely to switch to an EV sooner
Figure 30: Two fifths of medium-sized businesses rank an insurer’s sustainability record as very important
Figure 31: Forecasting methodology

Companies Mentioned (Partial List)

A selection of companies mentioned in this report includes, but is not limited to:

  • Gallagher
  • Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • Acturis