Skip to main content

The UK life insurance market 2019-2020

A snapshot

Insurance Consulting and Technology
Insurer Solutions

January 21, 2020

The turn of a year is, traditionally, a time for reflection on what’s happened during the year gone by and what the next year may bring. So, as an industry that is steeped in tradition but where significant changes are taking place or are in the offing, why should UK life insurance be any different?

We recently asked some of our senior UK Life practitioners to pool their thoughts and identify some core themes that they saw running through assignments in 2019 and that are carrying through in to 2020, and beyond.

Don’t worry – while we all of course have to be mindful of the wider economic impact of Brexit, this is the last time we’ll mention it in this article. It also goes without saying that the five themes we’ve picked to feature at a high level won’t necessarily correspond exactly with your own view of risks and priorities. But we believe there will be some observations on situations and circumstances that you can recognise in your own business. Where we see challenges and opportunities, hopefully they will give you some additional perspectives on them.

Five issues that are setting the tone

  1. 01

    The march of consolidation

    The UK life insurance industry has been a sector in consolidation mode for some time. Many insurers are becoming more selective about the markets in which they want, or feel able, to operate in profitably.

  2. 02

    Regulatory and reporting upheaval rolls on

    The pressure has been on, and will remain on, as companies prepare for IFRS 17, the new international insurance accounting standard.

  3. 03

    The case for finance transformation

    The previous two sections highlight the pressures that most insurers’ actuarial and financial systems are under. Whichever way you cut the associated challenges, they normally boil down to needing to do more – faster, better and cheaper.

  4. 04

    Technology means choices

    Looking at technology more widely, what we’ve continued to note and demonstrate in 2019 is that significant business improvements can result from relatively small investments.

  5. 05

    Emerging risks

    A handful of categories of risk stand out to us as shifting in their relative importance to not only UK life insurers, but regulators, investors and customers alike. These categories include climate risk, cyber risk and operational risk.

The full document is available to download, below. If you would like to talk with us about any of the subjects featured and our views on them, please do speak with your regular Willis Towers Watson contact, or email using the details below.


Matthew Ford
Senior Director, Risk

Brian Ring
Director, Insurance Consulting and Technology

Waheeda Narker
Senior Director, Insurance Consulting and Technology

Title File Type File Size
The UK life insurance market 2019-20 PDF .9 MB

Related Solutions

Contact Us