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Mutual insurance firms boost their market share

Mutual insurance companies are increasing their share of the market at the expense of their proprietary rivals, according to research by the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation.

Mutuals took 13 per cent of the market in 2001 and premiums soared by 26 per cent. During the same year, the industry as a whole contracted by 14 per cent, leading ICMIF to conclude that mutuals outperformed by 40 per cent.

It says the trend is replicated all over Europe, drawing on statistics in a report by Association des Assureurs Cooperatifs et Mutuels Europeens.

ICMIF chief financial officer Shaun Tarbuck says: “With mutuals such as Standard Life, NFU Mutual, Liverpool Victoria and Royal London all working hard to promote the benefits of mutuality, there is a feeling that mutuals are being seen as more secure by policyholders for long-term investments.

“Our data shows that UK mutual insurers have shaken off the shackles of being stuffy and inefficient and are becoming the trendy part of the UK insurance sector.”

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