How is Brexit playing out in the real estate insurance space?

12 January 2017

Despite ongoing uncertainty over Brexit, real-estate clients will need to consider the implications for their portfolios in 2017, while insurers are likely to begin adjusting their positions. 

Brexit will have significant implications for insureds with European assets covered in the London market, especially if the UK loses passporting rights once the country leaves the EU. Brexit could, for example, affect London-based insurers’ ability to underwrite EU-based assets, raising the prospect of tariffs on rates.

Clients with substantial proportions of European real-estate risks in their portfolios will need to consider where best to place their business in future. Depending on the progress of Brexit negotiations, some insurers may decide to cease underwriting EU real-estate risks in London, and move their real-estate business to continental Europe. 

Alternatively, they might opt to restructure their programmes: some may choose to separate UK and EU assets within their portfolios. Insurers will no doubt find workarounds should the UK lose passporting rights, but any such solutions may mean increased cost and complexity.

Brexit aside, the real-estate insurance market shows no signs of bottoming out. There is fierce competition among existing and new players, and a number of new entrants are in the pipeline.

Topical tip for buyers

Insureds with European real-estate assets covered in the London market will need to give thought to their future insurance arrangements. It will take two years to resolve the terms of Brexit once the UK government triggers Article 50. That potentially gives clients just one renewal before they will need to have a suitable insurance programme in place. They will therefore need a plan of action, and should be reviewing their post-Brexit options now.

For further information, please contact Nigel Todd, Head of the European Real Estate on +44 20 7558 3549 or email