Reflections on Coalition’s First Year in the U.K. Market
It's hard to believe it’s been 12 months since Coalition launched in the United Kingdom. This year has flown by, and looking back, it's been a blur of broker meetings, conferences, networking, media interviews — and a lot of hard work.
Cyber risk knows no bounds. While threat actors' motivations may vary, they operate on a global playing field with little regard for industry, revenue band, or location of victims. As this global risk becomes more prevalent, so will cyber insurance.
But we have a long way to go. Businesses in the U.K. were less likely to have cyber insurance coverage, with only 7% of companies and 8% of charities reporting active policies. And in the first half of 2023, Coalition data shows that overall claims frequency in the U.K. was 41% greater than in the U.S.
We have a massive opportunity to make a difference in this region with our unique Active Insurance proposition and solutions. At Coalition, we like to say no matter how much progress we've made, we're still only 1% of the way there. And we're just getting started.
Meeting brokers across the country
One of the things that really stands out for me from our first year was the series of broker lunches we hosted around the country – in places like Bristol, Leeds, Edinburgh, and Brighton. What's clear from these conversations is that brokers are tired of the complexity of the big insurers' offerings — the endless questionnaires, the exclusions, and the litany of fixes required before cover incepts.
Instead, what brokers want is to help their clients get better when it comes to their security defences. They want to talk not just about something new or shiny but something that enables their clients to be stronger and better businesses — to succeed, grow, and fend off cyber attacks before they even happen. As the cyber risk landscape and cyber insurance market conditions evolved substantially, Coalition's consistent approach offered a sense of stability for brokers. That's why we've onboarded over 3,000 individual U.K. brokers in our first year, and we are confident that that number will only continue to grow.
Building new relationships
Our first year has also been very focused on building industry relationships. One year after the launch of Active Insurance in the U.K., we are thrilled to have caught the attention of the cyber insurance community. We have brought something new and wonderfully pragmatic to U.K. cyber coverage: Our offering is intuitive; we make sense to brokers, and we make sense to clients.
While much of our success has been in developing the existing relationships of our business development team and underwriting teams, it's been encouraging to see the start of brand-new, entirely Coalition-specific relationships with brokers and partners who are new to our offering.
We have invested in colleagues around the U.K. and are pleased to say we've more than doubled our U.K. headcount in our first year. This number will continue growing as we build our regional business development and underwriting teams to best support our brokers and policyholders.
Democratising cyber protection
Year one has absolutely been about the role of insurance in the broadest possible sense. Our arrival in the U.K. created ripples; I've no doubt of that. Disrupting a long-established market would never be a walk in the park, but it’s clear we’ve made tremendous headway during our first year — even slightly ahead of target.
Not only is Coalition’s Active Insurance here to assist clients when they have an event and minimise any business disruption, but our use of powerful scanning technologies and our intellectual capital also mean that we can help prevent events from happening in the first place. And that makes a massive difference for our policyholders who need a reliable insurer.
What’s so rewarding to me about our offering is that it shows the insurance industry can be a vehicle to provide much-needed resources to small businesses in a way that no other industry can. The SME sector, in particular, often does not have the time or resources to address security. In effect, a small business can purchase a Coalition policy and tap into the technological know-how of an advanced cyber defence firm. It's like giving a tiny SME on an industrial estate in Birmingham one of the best cyber defence teams possible. That makes me — and the entire team here — very proud.
It's no surprise to us that, in our first year, we've signed up thousands of new policyholders in the U.K. And it's no surprise that we have contributed to growing Coalition to be one of the largest global SME cyber insurers. In fact, there have been very few surprises in our first year. Why? Because Coalition's mission to democratise cyber protection in the U.K. is one the most predictable success stories of all.