Protection Premiership 2000-2020

  1. Term 2020. The market in 2020.
  2. Term 2000, 2010, 2020. The top 5.
  3. Critical Illness. The top 5.
  4. Term 2025. Who will be top 5 in 2025?
  5. Income Protection. Not yet written.
  6. Whole Life. Not yet written.

This article examines volumes and market shares for the term market (life cover and critical illness cover) for the years 2000-2020, paying particular attention to the movements in 2020.

At the outset I would like to acknowledge and thank Ron Wheatcroft of Swiss Re for fielding a number of data queries. Any errors made and views expressed in this post are my own.

Sales and market share of the top 5

Market volume and top 5 share:

The market and top 5 share Source: TermWatch 2001-2021

Key features:

Splitting the top 5

We now include 5 new lines, showing the market share for each of positions 1-5:

Gaps in the protection market Source: TermWatch 2001-2021

Market shares for positions 2-4 almost converged in 2020, illustrated by their overlapping labels. The numbers behind the graph showed the biggest lead of 1st over 2nd position was in 2015 (20.6%) followed by 2020 (19.5%). The 4th-5th gap is also at a record high.

Gaps in the top 5

Let’s look at those gaps before 2020:

Gaps in the protection market Source: TermWatch 2001-2021

In 2020:

Sales and market shares for 2020

The numbers behind the 2020 part of the graphs are as follows:

# Company Policies Market share
1 Legal & General 504,061 31.7%
2 Royal London 194,785 12.3%
3 Aviva 182,931 11.5%
4 AIG 182,013 11.5%
5 Zurich 101,946 6.4%

Source: TermWatch 2021

Over 2000-2020 the top position was taken by either Aviva (3 times from 2000-2002) or L&G (18 times from 2003-2020). That won’t change soon. Why is L&G so successful?

The real tension is in positions 2-4: in 2020 Aviva, having fallen to 3rd for the first time, was less than 1000 policies ahead of AIG. What happens next?

The 2020 top 5: market shares 2017-2020

For 2017-2020, inclusive, the top 5 positions have been taken by the same insurers. L&G has always been top, Zurich always 5th, with a little movement in 2-4.

Over 2017-2020 the top 5’s share reduced from 77.7% to 73.4%. In that context:

Top 5 market share 2017-2020

Where next?

My aspiration is to extend this post, giving:

I’ve always had a talent for intentions!