European motor insurance markets

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Motor insurance is the most widely purchased non-life insurance product in Europe, accounting for 27.4% of non-life business. Total motor premium income amounted to €123.5bn in 2013. Around 1,000 companies provided cover for 334 million vehicles, offering a variety of motor insurance products tailored to consumer needs and local regulatory requirements.

The EU Motor Insurance Directive (2009/103/EC) requires all vehicles to be covered for motor third-party liability (MTPL) up to a minimum amount for both bodily injury and physical damage. In addition to MPTL cover, optional motor insurance — often known simply as “damage cover” — can be purchased. This covers, for example, damage caused to an insured vehicle by the insured (first-party loss), by external events (eg natural disasters or fire) or by third parties (eg theft or vandalism).

This report provides data on European premiums, claims expenditure and combined ratios. It also sets out the legislative and country-specific factors that explain the differences in premiums across the continent. It ends with a brief look at current trends and technological advances in the motor market.