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Euro ‘rescue’ may cause uncertainty for UK insurance market

Published: 27/03/12

The current economy creates an interesting environment for insurers. It is unusual for UK insurers to fail and this is largely due to the solvency margins that have been enforced by Government and the FSA over a period of years. This means that the UK is very safe place for people to insure their business and property.

One of the problems that the industry will face over the coming months will however be one of stability. The investments that insurers have used to maintain solvency levels have traditionally been regarded as very safe vehicles. However as the financial crisis continues to bite these traditional safe investments have come under attack; this in turn may effect how they are rated by rating agencies.

Evidence of an insurer’s financial rating is something that we take into consideration when assessing and recommending cover. In the majority of cases we look for insurers with an A credit rating; something that we consider to be essential for your peace of mind and an indication of the professionalism that we employ on behalf of our clients.

In recent times there has been an abundance of such companies to choose from, however if the current package of measures that have been put forward to save the Euro are unsuccessful, then a situation could arise whereby the gold plated A rating becomes much more elusive and exclusive.

Standard and Poor recently downgraded eight European insurers, including Allianz’s Italian operation and Ageas’s Portuguese unit. Whilst these are big name insurers, the operations affected are the overseas companies, rather than the main European arms. The ratings downgrades follow on from the downgrading of the sovereign ratings of 17 Euro zone countries in February.

Increasingly we will be looking at the security of our markets as the whole marketplace potentially becomes more turbulent.


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