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20 Life Insurance Statistics Every Brit Should Know in 2021

Written by, Marija Petkova

Updated November, 25, 2021

Buying life insurance is hardly a luxury nowadays, and for many, it may even be a necessity. 

It’s a great way to protect your loved ones and their finances. You might wonder who buys life insurance and why.

Well, get ready to find the answers here. In this article, we’ll list some of the most interesting life insurance statistics about the UK.

Let’s dive in. 

Ten Fascinating Life Insurance Statistics About the UK

  • One in three people in the UK has life insurance.
  • The life insurance market share in the UK is around 70% of the total insurance market.
  • The value of life insurance premiums in the UK reached €150 billion in 2019.
  • Over 25% of UK households with mortgages don’t have life insurance.
  • 98.3% of the life insurance claims in the UK are paid out.
  • The life insurance benefits paid in the UK were worth more than €146 billion in 2019.
  • The top life insurance company in the UK is Aviva, with 2.88 million people owning an insurance plan from this company in 2019.
  • The UK life insurers’ investment market share was 19.8% in 2019.
  • The number of life insurance companies headquartered in the UK has been declining in the last few years.
  • UK life insurance companies’ investment portfolio was close to €1.7 trillion in 2019.

Life Insurance Statistics in the UK

How many people in the UK have life insurance, and how many don't?

1. One in three people in the UK have life insurance.

(Statista) (Harbour Wealth)

How many people have life insurance in the UK? One in three Brits are life insured, or more precisely, 60% have no such insurance. 

One of the more notable life insurance facts about the UK is that the partners of about 500 women and 75 men younger than 50 die every day. That leaves around 100 children without one parent. 

2. The life insurance market share in the UK is around 70% of the total insurance market.

(Statista)

The life insurance market share in the UK has been decreasing gradually in the last few years. It went from 83.2% in 2007 to 71.7% in 2018, in terms of life insurance premiums as a part of total premiums. 

3. The value of life insurance premiums in the UK reached €152 billion in 2019.

(Statista)

The value of life insurance premiums in the UK saw a steep decline from 2018 to 2019—it went from €229.9 billion to €152.67 billion.

4. In 2019, index-linked and unit-linked insurance accounted for over 50% of the gross written premiums.

(Statista)

Index-linked and unit-linked insurance generated the most value for the sector in 2019, with over 50% of the gross written premiums.

5. The UK is the biggest market for non-life premiums in Europe. 

(Insurance Europe) (Statista)

More than half of the total non-life premiums in Europe were in the UK in recent years, making it the biggest market for non-life premiums on the continent. 

6. The life insurance premium income has been rising at a CAGR of close to 5% in the last five years.

(IBISWorld)

The premium income of life insurance industries is expected to increase at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of 4.6% in the six years between 2016 and 2021.

7. The benefits paid on long-term life and annuities insurance in the UK were £18.34 billion in 2018.

(Statista)

The total benefits paid on long-term life and annuities insurance in the UK have been declining since 2008 when they reached a peak of £62.12 billion. In 2018, they were £18.34 billion.

8. In 2018, £1.6 billion were paid on long-term income protection insurance in the UK.

(Statista)

In the 14 years between 2005 and 2018, the benefits paid on long-term income protection insurance in the UK gradually increased from £1.01 billion to £1.60 billion. 

9. More than a quarter of UK households with mortgages don’t have life insurance.

(What Mortgage) (LandlordToday)

According to a recent survey, over 25%, or around 3 million UK households with mortgages, don’t have life insurance. The other roughly 8 million have life insurance. 

Another study from insurer Aviva found that married couples who pay a mortgage are more likely to have life insurance—70% of all married mortgage holders do, compared to only 30% of those that never married.

What’s more, 65% of the mortgage holders who have life insurance are parents. 

Life Insurance Policies

How many life insurance claims in the UK are paid out?

10. Long-term individual pension policies in force in the UK were 25 million in 2018.

(Statista)

Long-term individual pension policies in force in the UK saw an increase in the last couple of years, after an extended but gradual decline between 2006 and 2016.

11. There were 1.19 million long-term individual income protection business policies in the UK in 2018.

(Statista)

The highest number of long-term individual income protection business policies in the UK was in 2007—2.46 million. Since then, this number has been declining gradually, reaching 1.19 million in 2018.

12. The number of long-term life and annuities business policies in the UK was 29.2 million in 2018.

(Statista)

The number of long-term life and annuities business policies in the UK has been declining in the last several years. The latest data is from 2018 when that number was 29.25 million.

13. In 2018/2019, customers’ general insurance provisions in the UK amounted to £126 million.

(Statista)

In the 2018/2019 period, the FSCS (the Financial Services Compensation Scheme) in the UK compensated customers with general insurance provisions worth £126 million. 

14. 98.3% of life insurance claims in the UK are paid out.

(Reassured)

Although four out of five Brits believe the life insurance claims are 80% paid out, that’s not true. So, what percentage of life insurance policies pay out? The answer is 98.3%. 

Life Insurance Benefits

How much are paid out life insurance benefits worth in the UK?

15. In 2019, life insurance benefits paid out in the UK were worth more than €146 billion.

(Statista)

Life insurance benefits paid out in the UK in 2019 were €146 billion—a steep decline from 2018’s €246.22 billion, which was a peak for the last 15 years.

16. In 2017, the value of primary life insurance benefits in the UK paid by individual contracts has consistently stayed above €80 million in the last decade.

(Statista)

The primary life insurance benefits paid in the UK for individual contracts were worth €90.92 billion in 2017, while the ones paid for group contracts reached €133.14 billion in the same year.

Life Insurance Companies Statistics

How many people in the UK own life insurance from Aviva?

17. The top life insurance company in the UK is Aviva, with close to 3 million clients in 2019.

(Statista)

In 2019, the top life insurer in the UK was Aviva, with 2.88 million people owning a life insurance plan from this company. The second most popular firm in this category is Legal & General, with 2.5 million life insurance clients in 2019. 

18. The number of active life insurance companies with headquarters in the UK has been declining in the last few years.

(Statista)

Compared to 2013, when the total number of active life insurance companies with headquarters in the UK was 190, in 2017, it fell to 168. 

19. The value of the investment portfolio of UK life insurance companies was €1.68 trillion in 2019.

(Statista)

The value of UK life insurance companies’ investment portfolio reached a peak of €1.96 trillion in 2015 but fell to €1.68 trillion in 2019. 

20. UK life insurers’ investment market share was 19.8% in 2019.

(Statista)

In the 12 years between 2008 and 2019, the investment market share of UK life insurers gradually decreased and in 2019 went below 20% for the first time in that period.

Conclusion

Most people in the UK don’t have life insurance, probably because, unlike health insurance, it’s not mandatory. But if you want to make sure your family has a safety net, it might make sense to look into getting one.

Hopefully, our collection of life insurance statistics for the UK contained the insights you were looking for and gave you a big-picture view of the sector.

Sources