Over half of the Northern Ireland motor insurance market is underwritten by just four insurers, despite direct writers seeing significant market share growth in recent years, according to figures released by CRASH Services.
CRASH is Northern Ireland’s leading accident management company and compiled the data from their internal statistics.
Jonathan McKeown, CEO of CRASH, said “There is no official data source covering the entire motor insurance market in Northern Ireland, but we feel our sample size is a very good indication of the overall market as our data is taken from looking at the insurers of at-fault parties in around 3500 claims per year.
We have been tracking the market share by insurer for the last five years. The larger players continue to dominate the market but there has been year on year growth for both Direct writers and online providers, perhaps most likely driven by price comparison websites and other GB based players who have increased business through brokers. These companies have seen their share grow to nearly 35%.
Top 4 insurers like AXA and Allianz have lost the most market share over the last five years and emerging players like LV/ Highway, Hastings Direct, Admiral and First Central have seen the most share growth over this time.
Jonathan concluded “More insurance providers entering and competing for business in the Northern Ireland motor market can only be good for consumers looking for cheaper premiums; provided insurers do not under price to grow market share. This would have the potential to cause a rapid increase in premiums in the future as has been seen in the Republic of Ireland and GB.
It will be interesting to see how the rate of change occurs in future years, for example if Northern Ireland consumers shift away from local brokers to online sales channels or vice versa.”
Table 1: NI Motor Insurance Market by provider (top 10 including others combined). Source CRASH Services Limited.
|2||Highway Insurance/ LV||9.1%|
|6||Nat Farmers Union||4.6%|
|10||Others (approx. 90)||26.3%|