Menu Search through site content What are you looking for?
Menu
15 September 2021

MGA Opinion Report 2021: A year of renewal for MGAs?

15 September 2021 Insurance & Reinsurance

1. Introduction

For the third year running, Clyde & Co has researched the outlook for the MGA market over the next 12 months, such as the impact of COVID-19, carrier partnerships, and the changing claims management process.


Foreword

2021 has all the makings of a year of renewal for MGAs.

The impact of the Lloyd’s Decile 10 remediation process and a global pandemic led to capacity providers taking a long hard look at MGA partnerships and questioning the value they provide.

But following some challenging renewals in 2021, it is clear from our data, backed up by discussions with MGAs and capacity providers, that the future of the sector is very promising and the mood is most definitely upbeat.

While work remains to be done in terms of tightening wordings, leveraging technology and improving claims management, as we look ahead, it is clear that markets, including Lloyd’s, are receptive and opportunities are there for the MGAs that can deliver.

About the report

Produced

15 September 2021

Location:

Africa, Americas, Asia Pacific, Middle East, UK & Europe

Written by:

Eva-Maria Barbosa

Eva-Maria Barbosa

Partner

James  Cooper

James Cooper

Partner

Peter Hodgins

Peter Hodgins

Partner

Simon Konsta

Simon Konsta

Partner

Avryl Lattin

Avryl Lattin

Partner

Jennette Newman

Jennette Newman

Partner

Yannis  Samothrakis

Yannis Samothrakis

Partner

Vikram Sidhu

Vikram Sidhu

Partner

Read time

15 mins

Download
About the report

Produced

15 September 2021

Location:

Africa, Americas, Asia Pacific, Middle East, UK & Europe

Written by:

Eva-Maria Barbosa

Eva-Maria Barbosa

Partner

James  Cooper

James Cooper

Partner

Peter Hodgins

Peter Hodgins

Partner

Simon Konsta

Simon Konsta

Partner

Avryl Lattin

Avryl Lattin

Partner

Jennette Newman

Jennette Newman

Partner

Yannis  Samothrakis

Yannis Samothrakis

Partner

Vikram Sidhu

Vikram Sidhu

Partner

Read time

15

Download

We conducted an email survey in July and August 2021, followed by a range of interviews with market participants, including the leadership and members of the MGAA.

Over 50 MGAs and carriers participated in our survey. Our survey found:

Key findings

  • Confidence is recovering fast, particularly among MGAs. Over two thirds (69%) expect partnerships will increase in 2022, a view shared by one third (33%) of carriers.
  • The impact of Covid-19 on capacity has not been long lasting. 84% of MGAs say the impact has been neutral or positive compared with 74% of carriers who feel the same way.
  • The biggest impact of Covid-19 on carrier-MGA relationships has been in terms of wordings, with 80% of carriers and 56% of MGAs saying it has increased focus.
  • 2021 has seen enthusiasm for Lloyd’s return. 47% of carriers believe the marketplace provides the best environment to grow and develop MGA business versus only 12% in 2020. 20% of MGAs favour Lloyd’s – an improvement of three percentage points on last year.
  • For carriers, market access remains the most desirable trait in an MGA, a view cited by 60% of respondents.
  • MGAs continue to value market reputation, and experience in their area of specialisation, cited by 33% and 31% respectively. However, the standout requirement this year is that fully 89% want capacity stability and longevity.
  • 47% of carriers and 42% of MGAs think claims will increase in 2022. 27% of carriers and 25% of MGAs also anticipate a greater incidence of fraudulent claims.
  • 87% of carriers and 67% of MGAs think the claims process requires improvement, with the majority citing faster communications and clearer processes, especially involving TPAs, as easy wins.

MGA confidence has staged a significant recovery from its pandemic low in 2020 and is at its highest level in three years, with over two thirds (69%) of businesses expecting to expand carrier partnerships in 2022.

Confidence is recovering

Although this level of confidence is not matched by the insurer community, which historically has been more cautious, carrier appetite for MGA business has nevertheless increased by four percentage points against 2020 levels.

A number of factors are driving MGA confidence, with the most dominant that the majority of MGAs have not only survived, but thrived following the highly testing conditions triggered by the Lloyd’s Decile 10 reform programme and compounded by the pandemic.


Against the backdrop of a hardening market, how do you expect your partnerships to evolve into 2022? Proportion answer "increase"

Covid impacts vary

While carriers remain cautious about expanding the number of partnerships in this space, sentiment is definitely warming, with the majority assigning a ‘neutral’ verdict to the impact of Covid on capacity allocation, a distinct improvement on last year. In what is still a relatively small MGA community, it only takes positive interest from a few key carriers to make a difference.

Although conversations between MGAs and providers have been challenging for the past 18 months and are likely to remain so, it is clear that businesses which are able to generate a consistent return are finding success and looking ahead to the next set of renewals with a greater degree of confidence.

But although the capital impact of Covid seems to have been relatively short-lived, it is evident that some of the coverage issues raised by the pandemic are casting a longer shadow in terms of enhanced scrutiny over wordings and more focus on due diligence when onboarding new relationships.


What has been the impact of Covid-19 on your capacity allocation in 2021? 

In the first two years of our research, 2019 and 2020, the popularity of the Lloyd’s market for MGA business was in decline, both with capacity providers and MGAs, many of which were impacted by Lloyd’s reforms as a result of the Decile 10 market remediation process.

All change on markets and models

2021 sees a sharp reversal of that picture. The market is more popular with carriers than it has ever been – almost half (47%) believe that it provides the best environment in which to grow and develop MGA business.

Against this backdrop, the tailwind of capital flooding into the MGA space suggests there may be a pick-up in the adoption of alternative capital, including ILS, PE, reinsurance, investment funds and even MGAs own capital over the next 12-24 months.

It is also clear that the appeal of the US is growing. Historically, Lloyd’s has seen a lot of program business through MGAs in the US. With rates rising, our data shows that interest is once again, with both carriers and MGAs citing the US as a strong market to grow and develop.

Historically, Lloyd’s has seen a lot of program business through MGAs in the US.

Pillars of partnership

Delegating authority to access US personal lines or SME business makes sense for those wanting a share of the action in the world’s largest insurance market. Participation in this business fell back as a result of Lloyd’s remediation focus, but with rates rising, our data shows that interest is once again, with both carriers and MGAs citing the US as a strong market to grow and develop.

Against this backdrop, MGAs need to add value by opening up new opportunities either in terms of distribution or of underwriting rather than simply amplifying existing carrier competencies.

Strong performers that can add value in niche markets are valued highly by carriers, with 60% of carriers citing this as a top three requirement of their MGA partners. Moreover, strikingly, 100% of carriers cited the importance of technology expertise and data mastery to ensure good risk selection and pricing, a finding echoed by 89% of MGAs.

As in previous years, MGAs continue to prioritise market reputation of their paper provider as a key pillar of partnership but, reflecting the experience of the past year, a resounding 89% favoured capacity stability in carrier characteristics.

Claims outlooks remains challenging

Our data shows a clear consensus between carriers and MGAs that claims frequency and severity will rise in 2022, with MGAs in particular taking a strongly pessimistic view on claims severity. This discrepancy may reflect better modelling capability on the part of carriers who may have priced in risk more effectively than their MGA counterparts.

For the moment, motor and fleet claims remain depressed, but cyber and data claims have seen significant increases as the world has moved to conduct more business online.

Moving forward, Carriers and MGAs can expect to encounter challenges as they strive to deliver value for insureds, pay claims promptly and maintain rate adequacy.

Still, there is a conviction among both carriers and MGAs that the claims management process requires improvement – a finding evinced by 87% of carriers and 67% of MGAs.

Respondents to our survey point clearly to the areas where improvements can be made in order to drive improved claims performance. Clearer processes, especially where TPAs are involved and faster communications emerge as the two top priorities. There was also considerable support from all parties to consider automating processes around lower value claims, or delegating claims authority more fully.


How do you anticipate claims will evolve in 2022? 

Download the report

End

You might be interested in...