Most insurance sectors saw an increase in merger and acquisition activity in the first half of 2021, according to Deloitte’s latest Midyear Insurance M&A Outlook.

The number of M&A deals is up 18 percent year-to-date, Deloitte said, and aggregate deal value is about 4x higher compared to 2020.

While total deal volume is on track to possibly outpace calendar-year 2020, activity in the property/casualty sector is down in 2021, with 18 deals so far versus 24 in the same period last year. Deloitte attributed this to the current rate-hardening environment more than any other factor, which may drive insurers to seek value from non-core legacy products and businesses.

Deloitte said that companies are considering a broader definition of M&A to include acquisitions, dispositions, alliances, partnerships, ecosystems and investments that can help them enhance their portfolios, enter more profitable market segments and accelerate the shift to digital.

InsurTechs continue to be desirable investment vehicles, partners and acquisitions in 2021, Deloitte said, noting that technology also continues to be a way for insurers to complement their existing suite of products, as well as to diversify to offer multiple services, as seen in the recent deals completed by Next, Porch Group, and Hippo.