’Underwriters in all areas continue to focus heavily on valuations in light of global inflation,’ says placement leader

Average UK composite insurance rates were flat in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to a 1% decline in Q3.

That was according to broker Marsh, which has today (5 February 2024) revealed the movement of insurance rates across different lines of business in its Global Insurance Market Index.

It showed that while UK rates averaged out at being flat in Q4 2023, it increased in the low single digits across property, casualty and cyber.

“Underwriters in all areas continue to focus heavily on valuations in light of global inflation,” Marsh’s UK placement leader Tom Davies said.

“Some property clients benefited from increased insurer competition and with the recent 1 of January treaty renewals, which were generally smooth and orderly compared to last year’s, we enter the year more positively than in 2023.”


In property, insurance rates increased by 1% in Q4 last year – down from a 2% rise in Q3 2023 and a 6% increase in Q4 2022.

Rates experienced by large organisations ranged from flat to 5% increases – mid-size clients, on the other hand, typically received rate decreases ranging from 5% to flat.

Insurers were shown to have offered more long-term agreements (LTAs) and remained cautious on catastrophe (Cat) risks.

Meanwhile, cyber insurance rates also increased by 2% following an increase in competition, which Marsh said had driven improved rates and coverage.

And auto liability drove a 2% increase in casualty insurance rates in Q4 last year.

Within this line of business, Marsh highlighted a slight shift toward reductions in employer’s liability rates during the period – and that capacity was contracted in the UK motor reinsurance market, with rate increases typically ranging from 7% to 20%.

“Updated policy wordings reflected the changing nature of electric and other vehicle technologies, with insurers increasingly imposing cyber exclusions but offering coverage for the potential tripping hazard liability posed by electric vehicle charging cables,” the broker said.

Rate drop

Insurance rates in financial and professional lines, on the other hand, dropped by 6% on average.

However, that did show a marked improvement compared to the third quarter of 2023, with rates declining by 9%.

The data also showed that directors and officers (D&O) rates continued to decrease, typically in the 10% to 15% range.

Marsh said that greater insurer competition drove a decrease in rates among financial institutions – it highlighted that the commercial crime market saw new entrants, for example.


In its report, Marsh also provided pointers for UK insurance firms looking to achieve more favourable outcomes.

This included managing expectations for senior executives and boards and setting a clear strategy before beginning renewal discussions.

“With 2024 set to be a year of significant geopolitical and economic challenges, we are working closely with clients to develop solutions that will enable them to become more resilient to global events and to take advantage of improving market conditions,” Marsh Specialty and Global Placement president Pat Donnelly said.