IUA Warns of Brexit Impact Complexity

International Underwriting Association (IUA) CEO Dave Matcham (pic) has warned that London remains in the middle of a complex web of Brexit preparations with the full impact of the UK’s departure from the EU yet to be defined.

His comments came as the IUA reported premium income in the London company market has increased to £28.437 billion. Gross written premium in London for 2018 was £19.559 billion while a further £8.877 billion was identified as written in other locations but overseen and managed by London operations.

The data from the latest edition of the IUA’s London Company Market Statistics Report represents an overall rise of 8.1% (£2.123 billion) on the previous 12 months and follows a 16% jump reported in last year’s publication.

Dave Matcham, chief executive of the IUA, said: “Improved market conditions and more effective pricing strategies in a number of different business classes have clearly helped drive another healthy growth in premium across the company market sector. Our members are pursuing effective business strategies to expand in specific sectors and have been successful in acquiring important new clients.

“This year’s statistics research includes reports of increased income in both traditional lines of business such as marine hull and motor, as well as newer and emerging sectors like renewable energy and crisis management.”

However, the impact of the impending Brexit has to be assessed said the report. It confirmed recent media reports of new business being generated through European branches and the amount of controlled business written in Europe (excluding UK and Ireland) increased by 9.2% to a total of £4.890 billion in 2018.

Mr Matcham added: “The data returns for this year’s report cover a period before the implementation of most Brexit contingency plans. Such is the diversity of London Market business models, however, it is already certain that Brexit will impact different firms in quite different ways. London is at the heart of an intricate web of cross-border business which is set to become even more complex.”

Elsewhere, the London Company Market Statistics Report reported a total of £3.096 billion underwritten by delegated authority arrangements and a company market income split between facultative/direct and treaty placements of 78% to 22%. Property remains the largest sector, followed by liability and marine, but professional lines is increasing and now makes up 13% of market premium. Cyber liability business increased in line with the overall market total to £0.092 billion.