According to the latest rankings and analyses updated by Insuramore (see www.insuramore.com/rankings/brokers), the value of the worldwide market for insurance broking in terms of fees and commissions earned was around USD 137.6 billion in 2021, up from around USD 122.3 billion in 2020, equivalent to a growth rate of almost 12.5% without adjusting for inflation and about 8% as an inflation-adjusted measure.
In 2021, this market is estimated to have broken down between around USD 62 billion due to commercial P&C (non-life) retail broking, USD 13.2 billion to private P&C (non-life) retail broking, USD 46.4 billion to employee benefits plus life and health insurance retail broking, USD 5.5 billion to reinsurance broking and USD 10.5 billion to wholesale broking. (Noting that these data points omit tied agency and MGA / MGU activity among other elements, please see the second and third pages of the attached document for precise definitions of these segments.)
Each of the segments registered a double-digit growth rate during the year; indeed, without adjusting for inflation, the top 20 broking groups together achieved an even higher aggregate growth rate of 14.6% albeit this was driven in part by M&A activity.
Several factors brought about the notable increase in the world’s insurance broking market in 2021. Growth in underlying premium rates was an important driver for both commercial P&C retail broking and wholesale broking while a further shift to digital and advice-led distribution had the most impact for retail broking of both private P&C insurance and life and health insurance. In fact, intermediaries with advanced digital capabilities have benefited significantly from this trend.
In terms of the value of its total broking revenues worldwide, Marsh McLennan ranked first among broking groups in 2021 and it was followed in descending order by Aon, WTW, Gallagher and HUB. Meanwhile, the leaders in each of the five broking segments were as follows:
• commercial P&C insurance retail broking – Marsh McLennan;
• private P&C insurance retail broking – Alliant (thanks largely to its acquisition of Confie in 2021);
• employee benefits activity plus retail broking of life and health cover – WTW;
• reinsurance broking – Aon;
• wholesale insurance broking – Amwins.
Overall, the top 20 groups are believed to have controlled 50.6% of total global broking fees and commissions in 2021 and the top 300 groups for 79.3%. Among the top 300 groups, the vast majority (at 242, or 80.7%) are privately-owned involving one or a combination of family ownership, employee ownership or private equity. Furthermore, the US is the headquarters for 141 (47%) of the top 300; following the US by this measure are France, the UK, Canada and Germany, the home countries for a respective 32, 31, 16 and 15 of the largest 300 groups, with the rest of the world accounting for the remaining 65 in the analysis.
Looking ahead, it will be apposite to see whether a continuing stream of M&A activity causes the worldwide market to consolidate in 2022 or if the dynamic growth of some smaller and medium-sized competitors causes the share of the top 20 groups to hold at just over a half of global broking revenues.