Research reveals unprecedented consolidation in the consumer insurance market

Unprecedented consolidation in the consumer insurance market has halved the number of key industry players in the UK200, The Lawyer’s research has revealed.

Of 22 of the UK200’s key consumer insurance firms active in 2009 only 14 remained in 2013 – and only 11 today.

At the end of the 2012/13 financial year, over half of the £1.6bn market The Lawyer researched (55.9 per cent) was held by just four major players: Clyde & Co, Irwin Mitchell, DWF and DAC Beachcroft.

Of the 22 firms analysed, only Parabis, DWF and Fentons increased their profit margin over the five years between 2009 and 2013. The remaining 19 firms had either ceased to operate independently or had seen their profit margin decrease over that time.

By contrast, Parabis’ net profits grew by 630.7 per cent from £2.6m in 2009 to £19m in 2013, while turnover at the firm grew by just 50.14 per cent over the same period. That was a proportional increase of more than 12 times as much as it has increased its turnover since 2009.

The only other firm with profit growth that outstripped its turnover growth was DWF, with a 220 per cent change over the same period from £6.5m to £20.8m.

The Lawyer looked at the performance of 22 consumer insurance focused firms in the UK200 and found that more than a third of the sample had either become defunct or merged by 2013.

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