New research by Finaccord estimates that the market for motor insurance for fleet vehicles across ten European countries is worth EUR 15.8 billion in premiums for 2011, plus another EUR 980 million in premiums and other revenues for road assistance for fleet vehicles. While this market grew very little between 2007 and 2011, Finaccord forecasts that it will increase to more than EUR 18 billion by 2015, for motor insurance and assistance combined, as prices rise to combat underwriting losses in major countries such as Germany and the UK.
This substantial but complex market carries many opportunities, whether by country (this study looked at Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK), by type of company (fleet manager, broker, underwriter or service provider) or by industry sector.
Finaccord broke the fleet vehicle market down between passenger cars and commercial vehicles, and then again between different types of specialist road transport segments. For passenger cars, these were hire firms, driving schools, the motor trade, operating lease firms, taxis, and other fleets.
“Among fleet passenger cars, the segment of car hire companies is expected to have the best growth in premiums between 2011 and 2015,” comments David Parry, managing consultant at Finaccord. “This is because the number of cars for rental is expected to rise significantly, and because policy prices are high for these vehicles. A lot of car hire companies have captive insurance operations because it is difficult to insure them, but the size of this segment and its prospects for growth mean that there is a substantial opportunity here”.
Fleet commercial vehicles were divided between couriers and postal services, the motor trade, operating lease firms, own account haulage vehicles, removal firms, road haulage firms, van and lorry hire firms, and other fleets.
Parry continues “Among commercial vehicles, road haulage is the largest specialist segment in terms of premiums paid, but it is a mature market. Operational leasing is becoming more popular in many European countries, and these fleets are expanding faster than average. This means that insurance and assistance providers stand to gain more by targeting a relatively small number of leasing companies rather than a mass of small and medium-sized fleets.”
Finaccord found that 15.9 million passenger cars could be classified as fleet vehicles across these ten countries for 2011 (defining a fleet as three or more cars insured together by private or public sector organisations, excluding personal customers). The largest number of fleet cars was found in Germany, at 3.70 million, followed by France with 2.79 million fleet cars; Italy and the UK were neck-and-neck behind these two with 2.39 million and 2.38 million fleet cars respectively. Finaccord also analysed this market in terms of insurance premiums; it estimates that car hire firms paid an estimated EUR 671 million in motor insurance premiums in 2011, while operating lease firms paid EUR 1,258 million; these were the largest of the specialist segments analysed; the majority of fleet cars are insured by a wide variety of organisations, with the whole fleet passenger car sector amounting to EUR 8.49 billion of motor insurance premiums.
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