The traditional role of UK risk managers is changing, with most expecting to increase self-insurance and risk retention measures within their programmes in the next two years.

The new trends were revealed by two surveys by the Association of Insurance and Risk Managers (Airmic), which looked at the usage of market services, expenditure levels and job-role responsibilities.

More than 80% of the Airmic members surveyed reported increased activity, as organisations undertook more risk assessment initiatives.

Members said service levels from insurers had fallen in the past two years, and fewer than 33% expected them to improve. However, more than 25% said the number of innovative products available had increased.

The Airmic said this dissatisfaction with suppliers was probably partly responsible for risk managers' growing role. However it also attributed the changes to emerging influences such as the new corporate governance requirements.

Additional drivers for the trends were the introduction last year of the Turnbull internal control requirements and the need to demonstrate good corporate governance to shareholders and customers.

“Faced with a market offering poorer service and signs that premiums are set to rise, decision makers within companies are looking elsewhere to resolve their risk concerns,” said chairman Alan Fleming. “Our research shows that very few of our members – 3% – expect their responsibilities to reduce in future.”