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Global Marketplace Insights – Europe Q1 2024

Market Insights

April 16, 2024

Nicoletta Cossutta, Head of Broking Europe, discusses the market dynamics in Europe from a capacity and pricing perspective.
Europe insurance marketplace update

Hear from our experts and learn more about the latest insurance marketplace trends


Global Marketplace Insights – Europe Q1 2024

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Bonjourno and welcome back to the European Marketplace update series.

I'm Nicoletta Cossutta and I look after Broking in Europe for WTW.

And on this first release of the year, I'd like to cover major changes and trends in after the 1st of January renewal and our perspective towards the current year in the European commercial insurance market.

The fourth quarter of 2023 confirmed the stabilization for the commercial lines insurance market in Europe.

Good news is there was enough capacity in the continental European market for most product and industry for our broking teams to place our client risk thanks to a mix of local or European well established insurer and new international player.

In fact, the European insurance industry have attracted significant capital in 2023. Till the end of last year and the beginning of the new year, the stable hardened market that we had been describing in our previous reports has changed. And although there are still risks pertaining to specific industry that continues to be challenging to place, the market in transforming into a clear softening market for some lines of business.

We will touch more on those shortly.

The presentation of cat result after the year end has also shown like to the market that most companies are already enjoying very healthy combined ratio thanks to a somehow quite good year in terms of in terms of natural catastrophe losses, despite being still on top of the historical sequence.

If we take a closer look at the different lines of business, the key message I would like to transmit for the property market is that there was more capacity available in Q4 2023.

The market has already changed in this few past month and we could even be talking about some softening for the better protected risk and industries across the continent.

And pricing is expected to follow during the year if no major losses of disruption arise.

Casualty lines is that continue with a stable, continuous stable with slight decreases in rate since the market returned to profit a few months back thanks to the positive effect of the remediation plan put in place by the majority of the industry.

Nevertheless, this is the line where a 2-tier market condition is [INAUDIBLE]

What I mean by that is that where placement that has a focused broking strategy, good loss ratio and good quality data can be managed as expected.

As for difficult sector, especially with U.S. exposure and loss impacted renewals, capacity remains limited.

Furthermore, insurer keeps showing continued concern towards increasing trading costs and both economic and social inflation.

Regard the financial line, this is the line where it's mostly like a softening market now.

D&O is seeing sharp discounting premium and there are no signs of stabilisation at the moment.

Similarly for the cyber risk, the soft market is back which much more competitive looking for business and open on the condition side. D&O, cyber, NFI in this all carrier talk about growth and there's no remediation anymore.

Although our FENIX teams seem a bit concerned that a fast changing rate downwards cannot stand for so long. Professional indemnity is still their most stable product line and more of a local play for its term and condition.

Construction, a bit of sign of the deceleration in the is expected in the industry and activity especially in 2024 across the region with low single digit overall growth as construction costs are high as still high due to increased cost of material and shorter in specialized labour force.

Our construction teams continue to see sign of stabilization and expect flatter and even slight discounts for best of class risk for the smaller and mid sized domestic place programs and project.

But for the large and complex with substantial increase construction value, we are expected to see low double digit light increases.

Natural resources industry instead like remains stable in terms of capacity and coverages.

Rates are stable with increases like for most line and and products but it's still the upstream and downstream oil and gas that we encounter the bigger pressure in prices..

In the trade credit market, last but not least, following a period of low claims level ensure anticipate a gradual pick up in bankruptcies, moving towards more normalized levels.

While frequency claims like has been increasing like since 2023 and are nearing like pre COVID level, the severity of claims remains below average resulting in insurer maintaining low loss ratios.

Overall, and just to summarise a bit of that as you may have heard from my colleagues and from the other regions.

So the other regional heads of broking but also like the global lines of business heads, the insurance industry continue to be competitive and carriers are really looking for growth.

It doesn't mean they will forget technical underwriting and try to keep the portfolio in good shape as they will continue actually to have a close look at interest rates cuts in the following month.

Before concluding, let me just reiterate and remark again right how important is the quality of submission and clarity of placement strategy.

This is really like the key to success with capacity for several industry and cat appetite being unpredictable and potentially volatile.

My advice to you all is to approach your brokers as in country as early as possible.

Given that although we can cope with changes in the market condition later, now certain renewals are frustrating for all parties involved.

And critical to successful renewal will be your broker support in also considering new ways of achieving your objectives perhaps through our risk analytics ranging solution which includes like alternative risk transfer.

Concluding, we will continue like our effort to keep you as updated as possible with this series of market update videos but also like our published European market trend report where you can find like much more product specific details for each of the points that I just like briefly touched on just now.

And also like by all means like please reach out to your broking teams or to me directly if you need any help to navigate in the market in order to make sure we can bring you like the best of the WTW global expertise and solution.

Thank you very much and speak very soon.

Bye, bye.


Nicoletta Cossutta
Head of Broking & Strategic Initiatives, CRB Europe
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