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Mutual insurers have bigger slice of premium pie since 2008 crisis


Mutual insurers’ share of global insurance premium volume has risen in recent years, according to a report published Tuesday by Swiss Re Ltd.

Mutual insurers’ share of the world insurance market increased to just over 26% in 2014 from about 24% in 2007, according to the Swiss Re sigma report “Mutual insurance in the 21st century: back to the future?”

Mutual insurers weathered the financial crisis that began in 2008 “better than other insurers,” the report said, and the aggregate premium volume written by mutual insurers grew at a faster rate than those written by other types of insurance companies during 2008 and 2009.

This may have reflected buyers “turning away from shareholder-owned insurance companies” during the financial downturn, according to the report.

Mutual insurers face a number of challenges, according to the report, most notably from new risk-based capital and corporate governance requirements such as those imposed by Solvency II.

“These requirements could put some mutuals, especially smaller ones with a narrow regional or business line focus, at a competitive disadvantage,” the report said.

“Larger and better-diversified insurers are in a stronger position to manage the additional operational and funding costs associated with compliance,” it said.