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European Insurance Market Update Q4 2023

March 1, 2024

In this update we assess the insurance market across all major lines of business in Europe, with a detailed look at the current European commercial lines insurance market in Q4 2023.
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Executive summary

In this update we analyse the current European commercial lines insurance market based on the experiences of our WTW clients.

In addition to market overviews, our report also provides a detailed trend analysis by country for each of these sectors. This information is particularly beneficial for industry professionals looking to stay ahead in the ever-evolving insurance landscape.

Rating trends are for guidance only and rates achieved will depend on individual circumstances. All figures are compared against our Q3 2023 remarks.

The European commercial lines business insurance market has remained stable throughout the fourth quarter, and is expected to continue as such in 2024. Despite this, the reinsurance market should continue to be monitored as reinsurance renewals impact the outlook for both international and local insurance companies.

We are in what we would term a stable, hardened market or two-tiered market.

This means that placements with a focused broking strategy, good loss ratios, and/or good quality data, can be managed as expected. However, there are other risks pertaining to specific industries that can be challenging to place.

For most lines, there is enough capacity in the continental European markets for our broking teams to place their risks, thanks to a mix of local or European well-established insurers and new international players.

A spotlight on the markets


The recovery of the property market means that focus is now back on growth with:

  • Mid-market as a key growth area and limited natural catastrophe exposure.
  • The large and complex market’s capacity is still challenging, especially for certain volatile risks or sectors. Areas to note: catastrophe exposures (not only in the US but also in Europe), supply chain, Strikes, Riot and Civil Commotions (SRCC) considering the geopolitical situation and loss leading accounts in general.
  • Well managed risks with good loss ratios can be well received.


The casualty market has returned to profit due to the positive effects of remediation. Maintenance of underwriting discipline and risk selection has led to consistent positive underwriting results. Increasing competition with insurers’ focus on top-line growth, is leading to downward pressure on rates, with some insured’s experiencing rate reductions.

However, for difficult sectors, especially with US exposures and loss impacted renewals, capacity remains limited. Insurers are showing continued concern towards both economic and social inflation. These trends expected to continue into 2024.

Financial, Professional and Executive Risks

The directors’ and officers’ market has continued to soften, and we see no signs of stabilization yet. There is enough capacity in the Western Europe market where several insurers are looking for growth. The financial institutions market is stable although rates are beginning to decrease. Additionally, the cyber market is softening which we see is a pattern throughout the region.


There is an expected deceleration of growth in the construction industry due to increases in the cost of materials and shortages in the specialized labor force. The residential sector remains weak, impacted by high interest rates and low demand. In the public sector however, investments into energy, infrastructure and technology remain key market drivers.

There continues to be signs of stabilization for domestic placed programs and projects where we expect stagnant or reduced rates. However, the large and complex market is experiencing higher rates in the low double digits, particularly where there is a need for additional reinsurance or those with natural catastrophe and secondary peril exposure.

Trade credit

Following a period of low claims, insurers expect a gradual increase in bankruptcies towards more normalized levels. While the frequency of claims have been increasing in 2023 and are now close to pre-COVID levels, severity of claims remain below average, and insurers continue to enjoy low loss ratios.

Download our report and gain insights into the current conditions and short-term perspectives for all the key insurance markets including: property, casualty, financial, professional and executive risks and trade credit risks; and a trend analysis by country for each market.

Download our report
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European Insurance Market Update Q4 2023 PDF .7 MB

Nicoletta Cossutta
Head of Broking & Strategic Initiatives, CRB Europe
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