The Insurance Uptake Score is our bi-annual barometer of insurance purchasing decisions in the UK and this March 2024 edition is the second wave of the research study.

It analyses the ten common types of personal lines insurance, which is any insurance policy taken out in a private capacity rather than for business or professional purposes. Individuals are questioned on their expected purchasing decisions regarding personal lines insurance, such as their likelihood to purchase, continue, decrease, or cancel their cover for the next 12 months.

Predicted growth

The Insurance Uptake Score shows its predicted growth across different product lines over the next 12 months:

Significant growth in health insurance uptake

Annual health insurance is set for notable growth this year driven by concerns about NHS waiting lists and continuing doctor strikes. The Insurance Uptake Score found an expected 21% increase in potential growth in private medical cover up from 14% reported in H2 2023.

This is primarily driven by an 11% increase in new purchases and a 13% growth in existing holders increasing their cover - either the limits they are covered for or adding optional cover/add-ons.

It can also be attributed to rising numbers of 25 to 34 year olds (23%) planning to take out health insurance in the next 12 months – the upshot, in part, of more employers offering health insurance as an employment benefit to their employees.

Home insurance to see the most growth

The sector-leading growth in buildings insurance is driven by new policies with a 25% increase in new purchases and 11% rise in existing holders increasing their cover (just 7% plan to reduce or cancel their policies). The primary reasons given for this are "peace of mind" (46%) and an expected change in circumstances requiring additional cover (40%). Also, three in ten (30%) have discovered they aren’t covered for what they thought they were.

One in five (19%) intend to increase their home contents insurance coverage in the next 12 months (14% new purchases, 5% by increasing their cover) whereas 3% intend to reduce or cancel their policies (2% by reducing cover, 1% by cancelling).

Motorbike and gadget insurance trends

Motorbike insurance has soared up the table of personal lines products set for growth. The Insurance Uptake Score shows an expected 32% increase in people either purchasing or increasing motorbike cover in the next 12 months, compared to 6% decreasing or cancelling. This means the Uptake Score has jumped from just 3% reported in H2 2023 to 26% currently, reflecting the seasonal nature of motorbike sales. As we approach the spring and summer months, it is likely that respondents are considering motorbiking again and seeking coverage.

Conversely, motor insurance will see the lowest growth in the next 12 months – just 3%. One in ten motorists said they will make changes to their policy, relatively consistent with levels reported in 2023 (11%).

Gadget insurance is expected to see a 15% uptick in the next 12 months, with half (53%) of 18-24 year olds intending to take out cover. This compares to the 6% expected growth reported in 2023.

Likelihood to switch provider

Across all ten products, insurance holders were asked about their intentions to stay with the same provider at renewal. According to the data, insurers will benefit from high levels of customer loyalty and retention this year. Three-quarters (74%) of policyholders intend to stay with the same provider at renewal, with a quarter (26%) switching. This is consistent with the previous wave of Insurance Uptake Score data, a likely result of FCA pricing rules introduced in 2022 to equalise prices quoted for new and existing customers and making renewal premiums more attractive.

Overall Insurance Uptake Score take-outs

This data set shows an optimistic outlook for the personal insurance sector in 2024. There are clearly a number of external environmental factors, such as NHS waiting times and ongoing strikes, that are creating a desire amongst consumers to invest in their insurance policies.

Overall consumers are intending to increase their personal lines insurance appreciating the importance of having adequate cover, and many plan to stick with their current provider. Therefore, providers need to consider how they retain their customer’s loyalty by showing understanding and meeting their needs in this current environment.

Download the full Insurance Uptake Score report for H1 2024 here.

The research was conducted by Consumer Intelligence Ltd. on behalf of Smart Money People.