Top largest insurance companies in the UK

The largest companies in the UK can be attractive investment options if you're looking to diversify your portfolio. Find out who they are in this article

Top largest insurance companies in the UK


By Mark Rosanes

The UK boasts Europe’s largest insurance market and the world’s third biggest, with insurers here managing more than £2 trillion worth of investments, according to the latest industry data. This is why it is not surprising that the country has become an appealing choice for investors looking to diversify their portfolios.

The largest insurance companies in the UK have a combined market capitalisation of slightly over $168 billion (£139.8 billion), accounting for about 6% of the global figure of $3.2 trillion (£2.7 trillion). While Britain’s share seems small, it ranks next only to those of industry powerhouses US and China.

This article reveals the country’s biggest insurers based on this metric. If you’re an investor looking at the insurance industry as a potential investment option, this article can serve as a useful guide. Read on and find out the largest insurance companies in the UK based on market cap.

1. Aon

Head office location: London, England
Market cap: $62.15 billion (£51.5 billion)
Business lines: Commercial re/insurance, insurance-linked securities

Aon Plc leads the list of the largest insurance companies in the UK, with a worldwide reach spanning more than 120 countries and territories, and a 60,000-strong global workforce. The publicly traded company specialises in commercial insurance and reinsurance products, and insurance-linked securities.

Aon has five business units, namely:

  1. Commercial risk solutions: A range of advisory, insurance, and risk transfer services catering to different industries. These include actuarial risk assessment, business continuity management, claims consulting, and insurance policies.  
  2. Reinsurance solutions: Consist of risk transfer, claims advocacy, and capital management products and services designed for reinsurers.
  3. Retirement solutions: Includes retirement, human capital, and investment products that help employers, fiduciaries, and investment officers manage their risk and improve their business.
  4. Health solutions: A range of consulting, benefits, and exchange solutions designed to help clients mitigate rising healthcare costs and improve employee health and wellbeing.
  5. Data and analytics services: Data management, technology, and advisory services that enable customers to reduce risk and improve business performance.

The insurance giant was founded in Chicago, USA in 1982. Its chief executive officer, Gregory C. Case, has been in charge of the firm since 2005.

2. Prudential Plc

Head office location: London, England
Market cap: $41.03 billion (£34 billion)
Business lines: Life insurance, investment, and consumer finance services

Prudential Plc is a life and health insurance and asset management specialist with headquarters in London and Hong Kong. The company operates more than 30 life insurance businesses across almost two dozen countries and boasts a network of over 530,000 agents, 27,000 bank branches, and 170 bank partners. Its CEO, Anil Wadhwani, assumed the role in February 2023, after being appointed in May 2022.

Prudential’s insurance portfolio consists of:

The firm’s long-term savings products, meanwhile, include:

  • Equity plans
  • Personal and group pensions
  • Deposit accounts
  • Mortgages
  • Fixed and variable annuities

Prudential is focused on strengthening its foothold in Asia and Africa’s emerging markets, where it has 19.3 million customers. Part of this endeavour is the establishment of Eastspring Investments, the firm’s asset management unit, which operates in 11 Asian markets and has distribution offices in Europe and North America.

3. WTW

Head office location: London, England
Market cap: $25.05 billion (£20.75 billion)
Business lines: Investment, risk advisory, and reinsurance

Formerly known as Willis Towers Watson, the company rebranded to WTW in 2022, ending almost 200 years of history for the names of its predecessor businesses. It also changed its ticker to WTW after trading under WLTW since 2016. In his announcement, CEO Carl Hess said these changes “reflect the clarity and actionable solutions we bring to today’s challenges.”

Willis Towers Watson rebrands to WTW

WTW’s insurance solutions are under its Risk unit, which offers the following services:

  • Affinity insurtech solutions
  • Claims reporting, monitoring, and advocacy
  • Climate risk management
  • Cyber risk management
  • ESG and sustainability
  • Insurance consultancy and technology
  • Investment solutions
  • Personal risk management and insurance
  • Reputational risk management
  • Retirement solutions
  • Risk analytics

The company has two other business lines. These are:

  1. People: Focuses on employee engagement, rewards, and recognition.
  2. Capital: Deals with complex risks.

4. Aviva

Head office location: London, England
Market cap: $14.79 billion (£12.25 billion)
Business lines: Motor, home, life, and health insurance, and investment and retirement solutions

Among the largest insurance companies in the UK, Aviva offers insurance, investment, and retirement products and services to more than 33 million clients globally. It has offices across a dozen countries – including insurance hotbeds in the UK, China, and Canada – and employs more than 31,000 staff. Amanda Blanc has been serving as the insurance behemoth’s CEO since 2020.

Aviva operates five business divisions, namely:

  1. General insurance: Offers products designed to help individuals and businesses protect their assets. These solutions include home, car, pet, travel, flood, and cyber insurance.
  2. UK Life: Provides annuities, equity release, health, and protection products for individuals and businesses aimed at helping them support the physical, mental, and financial health of their employees.
  3. Europe Life: Offers insurance savings, investment, and protection products for individuals who want to plan for their future and protect themselves from sudden and unexpected events.
  4. Asia Life: Provides products and services aimed at delivering growth and generating positive cash flows for clients who want to meet their insurance and savings needs.
  5. Investments, savings, and retirement: Brings together Aviva’s global asset managers and investors with its modern UK workplace and platform savings business to enable clients to save enough for their retirement. This is also the first-of-its-kind combined retirement and savings business in the country. 

5. Admiral Group

Head office location: Cardiff, Wales
Market cap: $7.99 billion (£6.62 billion)
Business lines: Car, home, and travel insurance

Admiral Group is the UK’s largest car insurance provider, accounting for 14% of the country’s overall market share. The car insurance specialist underwrites policies through its several brands, including:

  • Admiral
  • Bell
  • Diamond
  • Gladiator

Clients love Admiral’s comprehensive car plan, which offers UK drivers the greatest protection, including cover for their windshields, stereo, and child car seats, as well as a replacement for vehicles less than a year old.

The insurer also recently launched the Admiral Virtual Assistant, also called AVA, which is an online tool designed to respond to common questions and concerns from customers. Customers can also use AVA to update their insurance policies, file a claim, and view their policy details.

Admiral offers home and travel insurance as well. Its 11,000-strong staff serves more than seven million customers globally. Apart from the UK, Admiral has offices in Canada, France, India, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Turkey, and the US. Its CEO, Milena Mondini de Focatiis, began her leadership tenure in 2021.

6. Phoenix Group

Head office location: London, England
Market cap: $7.52 billion (£6.23 billion)
Business lines: Life insurance and pension savings

Phoenix Group is the country’s largest long-term savings and retirement solutions provider, serving about 13 million clients across the UK and globally. It has £270 billion worth of assets under administration with a shareholder capital coverage ratio of 186%.

The company operates six brands offering pension savings and life insurance. These are:

  1. Phoenix Life: The firm’s closed life insurance and pension funds business.
  2. Phoenix Wealth: The company’s wealth management arm.
  3. Phoenix Ireland: Handles Ireland-based businesses being transferred from Phoenix Life.
  4. ReAssure: A life and pensions company that purchases and administers closed books of business from other firms.
  5. Standard Life UK and Europe: Offers life and retirement savings for individuals and employers.
  6. SunLife: Specialises in over-50 life insurance.

Phoenix Group is led by Andy Biggs, the company’s group chief executive officer, who was appointed to the position in 2020.

7. Beazley

Head office location: London, England
Market cap: $5.42 billion (£4.49 billion)
Business lines: Property and casualty, and life and health insurance, and reinsurance

Beazley is the specialist insurance and reinsurance arm of Beazley plc. Among the largest companies in the UK based on market cap, Beazley is a Lloyd’s of London insurer managing Syndicates 623, 2623, and 3623. Through the insurance marketplace’s extensive broker network and trading licences, Beazley is able to access a wide range of insurance and reinsurance businesses globally.

In the UK, Beazley offers a range of insurance products tailored to the varying needs of individuals and businesses. These include:

  • Contingency insurance: Includes events coverage.
  • Cyber & tech: Provides cyber breach solutions and mediatech services.
  • Executive risk: Covers management liability.
  • Financial lines: Covers professional indemnity.
  • Healthcare: Includes international healthcare coverage, medical malpractice liability, and virtual care.
  • Marine: Covers pleasure crafts and yachts.
  • Property: Insurance designed for homeowners.
  • Reinsurance: Includes personal lines cyber coverage, specialty reinsurance, and surety.
  • Small business: Provides events, marine, cyber, and healthcare cover for small enterprises.
  • Specialty risk: Provides coverage for advertising agencies, and media and entertainment businesses.

Adrian Cox is Beazley’s CEO, a role he has been holding since 2021. The company has more than 1,600 employees and caters to the following markets:

  • Asia-Pacific region
  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Latin America
  • Lloyd’s market
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

8. Direct Line Group

Head office location: Bromley, England
Market cap: $2.77 billion (£2.29 billion)
Business lines: Motor, home, commercial and rescue, and other personal lines

Direct Line Group started as the country’s first telephone-only insurance provider – thus the name – and has since grown to become one of the largest insurance companies in the UK. It offers a range of policies through its several brands and subsidiaries, namely:

  • Direct Line: Provides personal lines products, including home, pet, travel, life, and cycling policies. Customers can also access these products online.
  • Churchill: One of the country’s leading general insurers, it offers car, home, travel, and pet policies, which clients can access over the phone and online.
  • Darwin: Insurtech brand that targets customers who buy motor insurance primarily through price comparison websites. It uses a smart pricing system to provide quotes that match a person’s profile.
  • DLG Auto Services: The group’s network of car repair shops.
  • DLG Legal Services: An SRA-regulated law firm that provides customers affordable access to legal services covered under the Motor Legal Protection (MLP) and Family Legal Protection (FLP) products.
  • DLG Partnerships: Helps organisations provide cover to clients through the group’s brands. Among the companies that the partnership works with are Nationwide Building Society, NatWest, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Sainsbury Bank, Starling Bank, and Volkswagen Financial Services.
  • Green Flag: Direct Line Group’s roadside rescue and recovery service is offered as an optional standalone product across all the group’s brands. Green Flag can access the group’s network of local technicians and independent garages across the UK.
  • NIG: Specialising in commercial insurance, the brand focuses on identifying and understanding the different risks facing businesses across the country, with the goal of offering them tailored coverage that matches their unique needs.
  • Privilege: Caters to clients who purchase motor and home insurance policies through price comparison websites. The brand’s policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited.

Direct Line Group’s former CEO Penny James stepped down from her post in January 2023, with group chief financial officer Jon Greenwood taking over the role as acting chief executive.

9. RSA Insurance

Head office location: London, England
Market cap: $1.31 billion (£1.09 billion)
Business lines: Personal and commercial insurance

RSA Insurance Group offers a wide range of personal, commercial, and specialty insurance products through a broad distribution network that spans more than 100 countries. It serves around nine million customers worldwide and is among the largest car insurance providers in the UK. RSA’s products are sold directly to customers and can also be accessed through its network of brokers and affinity partners.

The insurer’s key products include:

  • Construction, engineering and rail insurance
  • Food and beverage insurance
  • Marine insurance
  • Renewable energy insurance
  • Retail insurance
  • SME insurance

Ken Norgrove is CEO of RSA UK&I, a position he has held since January 2022.

The table below sums up the largest insurance companies in the UK by market cap.

Largest insurance companies in the UK based on market cap

What is market capitalisation and why is it important?

Market capitalisation, also called market cap, is the total value of a publicly traded company’s outstanding common shares owned by stockholders. Market cap indicates how much a business is worth as determined by the stock market. The value is determined by multiplying the number of outstanding shares by the current market value of a single share. For this list, we pulled market cap data from this website.

A company’s market capitalisation plays a crucial role in determining its size, without having to search for its sales figures or total assets. Investors also use this metric to assess a company’s financial performance versus other firms of different sizes.

Why is this used for the largest insurance companies in the UK?

For the investing community, calculating a company’s market cap is important as it can indicate if a company is a safe or risky investment. But what is a good market cap? The answer lies in your investment goals. Companies with a large cap are often financially stable and carry less risk for investors. On the flipside, firms with smaller market cap are riskier to invest in but can offer huge rewards, especially if they experience significant growth.

For the insurance community, this is an important piece of information for people to understand. This metric can help you understand how well an insurance company is doing, if it can meet all of its obligations to those it ensures, and provide stable workplace for those that work there.

UK insurers account for a small portion of the world’s insurance giants. If you want to find out the largest insurance companies in the world, we have them ranked in this article.

Do you have experience working with the largest insurance companies in the UK? How was it? We’d love to hear how it went in the comment section below

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