Eighty-five per cent of broker respondents believe the market will shift further towards schemes

A survey of 150 brokers has found that 85% believe the general insurance market will become more geared towards schemes over the next five years, helping to boost their growth in niches and specialist propositions.

The survey, conducted by UK General from a mix of partners and non-partners, also revealed that one-third said their schemes book grew by over 30% in the past five years, and 15% said it had grown over 60%.

However, the survey revealed that there is still capacity to expand schemes business, as 43% of brokers interviewed said that they do not currently participate in the sector.

UK General head of commercial schemes Tony Bloomer said the survey showed the growing importance of schemes, but he urged brokers to really focus on their proposition.

He said: “What is important is that niche and specialist markets do not fall victim to commoditisation. There must be a premium written in for the key technical and underwriting skills required to write specialist schemes.”

Bloomer said the survey identified other challenges for the schemes market, such as the likely increase in broker demand for delegated authority and the high importance ascribed to underwriting support. “Nearly 70% of brokers rated underwriting support from insurers as a high priority in order to further develop their schemes portfolio.”

Brokers with gross written premium between £1m and £5m made up 45% of the interviewees, 21% were brokers with up to £1m GWP, 10% had GWP of between £20m and £50m, while 6% had GWP of more than £50m.