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Insurance

Investment trends
across the UK non-life insurance market

Welcome to our review of the latest investment trends across the UK non-life insurance market. We conducted in-depth interviews with key decision-makers at 22 non-life insurers. 

Our research shows significant and growing appetite for non-traditional investments. We found that the large majority of non‑life insurers now hold investments outside of the traditional areas of short‑dated developed government bonds, investment-grade corporate bonds and cash.

Inside this report:

  • The average allocation to less traditional areas is 25%;
  • Many insurers have a much higher allocation than that, of up to 60%;
  • 50% of insurers are holding an absolute return or multi-asset allocation;
  • 50% are holding an allocation to illiquid assets, with direct lending to companies and commercial mortgage loans the most frequently held illiquid assets; and
  • 55% are holding an allocation to equities.  Most insurers who invest in equities also use some downside protection, such as put options.

For many insurers, improving investment efficiency is a key priority. Insurers are reducing the number of ‘traditional’ investment managers, typically looking to bring down fees and simplify governance. Where new managers are being introduced, typically this is in non-traditional areas where existing managers are not best-of-breed.

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues are a hot topic, with 41% of insurers currently reviewing their ESG policies. Our research revealed that a wide range of different ESG approaches are being taken, with many insurers finding it difficult to determine what best practice currently looks like.

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