Global marine insurance premiums in 2021 reached $33bn, up 6.4% yoy

The International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) has published its IUMI Stats Report for the year.

The report notes that 2021 saw a robust macroeconomic recovery, but in 2022 worries about inflation and recession were gathering.

Global marine insurance premiums in 2021 reached $33bn, up 6.4% on 2020. Premiums were lifted by increased global trade volumes, a stronger US dollar, increased offshore activity, higher vessel values and a reaction to deteriorating results in previous years. Insurers in Europe and Asia, in particular, saw premium growth.

The positive trend for the ocean hull business, starting in 2021, continued into 2022. Premiums grew by 4.1% in 2021, reaching $7.8bn. There was continued rapid growth in the Nordic region and China, but much weaker in the UK (Lloyd’s) market, where the decline of recent years continued. “The extraordinarily benign claims impacted both the frequency and the cost in recent years and could achieve the recovery of previous years’ adverse results”, IUMI said.

The cargo market saw premiums for 2021 increase to $18.9bn, driven by increased global trade volumes. Also in this segment, claims impact was comparably benign in 2021, meaning that loss ratios in most markets improved.

The offshore energy sector saw an increase in overall premiums, reaching $3.9 billion in 2021, up by 6.9% year on year. This was the second year of improvement after six years of decline between 2014 and 2019. The demand for offshore energy insurance typically tracks the movement in oil prices, with higher prices making more projects viable. Historically there has been an 18-month time lag between improved oil prices, authorized offshore expenditure, and unit reactivation. Loss ratios kept in recent years a fragile balance with significant loss events being absent, but with a long backlog in claims reporting, the youngest years still have to mature. With the oil price rally in 2022, more activity and, thus, demand for offshore energy insurance may be expected, IUMI said.