Concentration in non-life insurance

24/10/2006 14:00

The increase in scale in non-life insurance continues. The number of non-life insurance companies fell in the period 2001–2005, while the amount of premiums earned increased. Mergers and takeovers of smaller non-life insurers are the main cause of the concentration in non-life insurance.

Biggest decrease in five years

In 2005, 227 non-life insurers were active on the Dutch market. They did business in two branches on average. This gives a total of 475 insurers in the various branches. In 2004 this number was still 506. The decrease in the number of insurers, 31 (6.1 percent), is the largest in the last five years. 
Since 2001, 85 insurance companies have discontinued their activities on the market. The largest decrease was for insurers in the accident and health insurance branch.

Number of insurance companies per branch

The premiums earned for non-life insurance rose from 15.3 billion euro (2001) to 20.4 billion euro (2005). Most premiums were earned on accident and health insurance. In 2005 the total amount of premium earned was 11.2 billion euro, 55 percent of the total premiums earned within non-life insurance.

Fewer small non-life insurers

Accident and heath insurance is provided mainly by small insurance companies. Eighty percent have a market share of 1 percent at the most. These small insurance companies have earned 15 percent of total premiums earned in this branch in recent years. The number of small insurance companies has fallen since 2001, from 109 to 86. The decrease in the number of smaller insurers indicates an increasing concentration in this branch. In other branches, too, the number of smaller companies is falling, and concentration is rising.

Premiums earned per branch

More premiums for larger insurance companies

Eleven percent of accident and health insurance companies had a market share each of 2 to 4 percent. Together these insurers accounted for nearly 39 percent of premiums earned. In 2001 this was still only 22 percent. One explanation for the increased revenues of large insurance companies are the mergers and takeovers of smaller insurance companies. 

Insurance companies in the accident and health branch by market share

Jérôme van Biezen