COVID-19 update included
The content of this report will be updated with the latest scenarios based on the global COVID-19 Pandemic


The purpose of this report is to provide an in-depth study into the most significant developments and recent trends within commercial insurance distribution. It discusses the influence of the differing purchasing behaviors of SMEs compared to larger corporate entities, and pays particular attention to the role and strategies of brokers (traditionally the main channel used by customers) within commercial insurance product distribution. The report also addresses the current challenges the market is facing, key regulatory factors, and the possible inclusion of new digital technologies to enhance the product selection and/or distribution process. It concludes with a five-year forecast for each distribution channel.

Commercial insurance distribution remains dominated by brokers due to their ability to provide advice and a wide range of products. But their position is being eroded in the SME markets as more businesses prefer to purchase through the direct or price comparison site channels due to their simpler insurance needs. However, as cyber threats become more prominent the need for cyber insurance is increasing, opening the door for brokers to appeal to businesses that need help understanding the threats they face and thus regain their foothold in the SME space. Broker consolidation has also continued in the market with Marsh, the largest UK broker, acquiring second-placed JLT in early 2019 - greatly strengthening its leading position in the process. Others may look to follow suit in the coming months in order to maintain their competitiveness in the market.


  • Brokers hold the lion’s share of commercial insurance, accounting for 79.3% of all written premiums.
  • The size of both the SME and non-SME UK commercial insurance markets grew, with an expected GWP of ?17.7bn between the two in 2018.
  • The broker landscape has been transformed by digital offerings via price comparison sites and innovative players.
  • Acquisition continued to play a key role in commercial insurance in 2018, as brokers look to consolidate their position within the market.

Reasons To Buy

  • Adapt your distribution strategy to ensure it still meets the needs of clients and intermediaries.
  • Ensure you remain competitive as new innovations revolutionize the purchasing journey for clients and brokers.
  • Benchmark yourself against other players in the market.
  • Be prepared for how technology is set to impact the commercial insurance market.