Facts + Statistics: Industry overview

 
Insurance industry at-a-glance

  • U.S. insurance industry net premiums written totaled $1.22 trillion in 2018, with premiums recorded by property/casualty (P/C) insurers accounting for 51 percent, and premiums by life/annuity insurers accounting for 49 percent, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.
  • P/C insurance consists primarily of auto, homeowners and commercial insurance. Net premiums written for the sector totaled $618.0 billion in 2018.
  • The life/annuity insurance sector consists of annuities, accident and health, and life insurance. Net premiums written for the sector totaled $600.6 billion in 2018.
  • Although most private health insurance is written by companies that specialize in that line of business, life and P/C insurers also write coverage referred to as accident and health insurance. Total private health insurance direct premiums written were $919.6 billion in 2018, including: $715.6 billion from the health insurance sector; $197.5 billion from the life/annuity sector; and $6.5 billion from the P/C sector, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. The health insurance sector also includes government programs.
  • In 2018 there were 5,965 insurance companies in the U.S. (including territories). According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, those were comprised of the following: P/C (2,507); life/annuity (841); health (931); fraternal (82); title (60); risk retention groups (239) and other companies (1,305).
  • Insurance carriers and related activities contributed nearly $630 billion, or 2.9 percent, to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  • Total P/C cash and invested assets were $1.7 trillion in 2018, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Life insurance and annuity cash and invested assets totaled $4.1 trillion in 2018; separate accounts assets and other investments totaled $2.5 trillion. The total of cash and invested assets for both sectors was $8.3 trillion. Most of these assets were in bonds (60 percent of P/C assets and 72 percent of life/annuity assets, excluding separate accounts).
  • P/C and life/annuity insurance companies paid $23.6 billion in premium taxes in 2019, or $72 for every person living in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
  • P/C insurers paid out $49.5 billion in property losses related to catastrophes in 2018, according to the Property Claim Services (PCS) division of Verisk Analytics, down from $105.7 billion in 2017, which was the highest loss since PCS began collecting insured loss data in 1949. There were 55 catastrophes in 2018, compared with 46 in 2017.
  • The U.S. insurance industry employed 2.8 million people in 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Of those, 1.6 million worked for insurance companies, including life and health insurers (923,000 workers), P/C insurers (647,000 workers) and reinsurers (28,500 workers). The remaining 1.2 million people worked for insurance agencies, brokers and other insurance-related enterprises.
  • Insurers have responded quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic. Using information collected by the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF), the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I) estimates that by June 2020 U.S. insurers and their foundations had donated about $280 million in the fight against COVID-19. In addition, international insurers and their foundations donated more than $150 million. U.S. auto insurers have also responded to the pandemic by returning over $14 billion to their customers nationwide in response to reduced driving during the pandemic, according to a Triple-I estimate.
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Property/Casualty And Life/Annuity Insurance Premiums, 2019 (1)

(US$ billions)

(1) Property/casualty: net premiums written after reinsurance transactions, excludes state funds; life/annuity: premiums, annuity considerations (fees for annuity contracts) and deposit-type funds. Both sectors include accident and health insurance.

Source: NAIC data, sourced from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insurance Information Institute.

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Employment In Insurance, 2010-2019

(Annual averages, 000)

  Insurance carriers Insurance agencies, brokerages and related services  
  Direct insurers (1)            
Year Life and
health (2)
Property/
casualty
Reinsurers Total Insurance
agencies
and brokers
Other
insurance-
related
activities (3)
Total Total
industry
2010 804.1 614.3 26.8 1,445.2 642.3 253.1 895.5 2,340.6
2011 788.9 611.6 25.6 1,426.1 649.2 261.1 910.3 2,336.4
2012 811.3 599.5 25.7 1,436.5 659.6 272.3 931.8 2,368.3
2013 813.2 593.7 26.2 1,433.1 672.3 283.5 955.8 2,388.9
2014 829.0 594.7 25.1 1,448.8 720.0 297.1 1,017.1 2,465.8
2015 829.8 611.6 25.1 1,466.5 762.8 309.1 1,071.8 2,538.3
2016 818.9 643.5 25.3 1,487.7 783.5 321.5 1,105.0 2,592.7
2017 850.4 639.7 26.6 1,516.7 809.6 333.3 1,142.9 2,659.6
2018 882.8 629.5 28.6 1,540.9 825.6 346.2 1,171.8 2,712.7
2019 923.0 647.0 28.5 1,598.5 843.0 348.7 1,191.7 2,790.2

(1) Establishments primarily engaged in initially underwriting insurance policies.
(2) Includes establishments engaged in underwriting annuities, life insurance and health and medical insurance policies.
(3) Includes claims adjusters, third-party administrators of insurance funds and other service personnel such as advisory and insurance ratemaking services.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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A property/casualty insurer must maintain a certain level of surplus to underwrite risks. This financial cushion is known as “capacity.” When the industry is hit by high losses, such as a major hurricane, capacity is diminished. It can be restored by increases in net income, favorable investment returns, reinsuring more risk, and/or raising additional capital.

 
Property/Casualty Insurance Industry Income Analysis, 2015-2019 (1)

($ billions)

  2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Net premiums written  $514.4 $528.3 $552.6 $612.2 $634.0
     Percent change 3.5% 2.7% 4.6% 10.8% 3.6%
Premiums earned  $506.0 $523.5 $540.6 $593.6 $621.9
Losses incurred 290.7 317.9 347.6 360.7 374.0
Loss adjustment expenses incurred 59.6 60.3 62.7 63.3 68.1
Other underwriting expenses 144.3 147.6 151.0 166.9 172.3
Policyholder dividends 2.5 2.3 2.6 3.0 3.8
Net underwriting gain/loss 8.9 -4.7 -23.3 -0.2 3.7
Net investment income 47.2 46.6 48.9 55.3 54.4
Miscellaneous income/loss 1.5 1.1 -5.2 1.4 1.4
Operating income 57.7 43.0 20.3 56.6 59.5
Realized capital gain 9.4 7.3 15.1 10.3 10.4
Federal and foreign income tax 10.2 7.4 -0.6 7.3 8.5
Net income after taxes 56.8 42.9 36.1 59.6 61.4

(1) Data in this chart exclude state funds and other residual market insurers and may not agree with similar data shown elsewhere from different sources.

Source: ISO®, a Verisk Analytics® business.

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Top 10 Writers Of Property/Casualty Insurance By Direct Premiums Written, 2019

($000)

Rank Group/company Direct premiums written (1) Market share (2)
1 State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance $65,615,190 9.3%
2 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. 46,106,971 6.6
3 Progressive Corp. 39,222,879 5.6
4 Liberty Mutual 35,600,051 5.1
5 Allstate Corp. 35,025,903 5.0
6 Travelers Companies Inc. 28,016,966 4.0
7 USAA Insurance Group 23,483,080 3.3
8 Chubb Ltd. 23,388,385 3.3
9 Farmers Insurance Group of Companies 20,643,559 2.9
10 Nationwide Mutual Group 18,442,145 2.6

(1) Before reinsurance transactions, includes state funds.
(2) Based on U.S. total, includes territories.

Source: NAIC data, sourced from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insurance Information Institute.

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Top 10 Writers Of Life/Annuity Insurance By Direct Premiums Written, 2019

($000)

Rank Group/company Direct premiums written (1) Market share (2)
1 MetLife Inc. $95,079,321 13.0%
2 Prudential Financial Inc. 56,206,131 7.7
3 Equitable Holdings 44,721,302 6.1
4 New York Life Insurance Group 33,425,321 4.6
5 Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. 30,375,127 4.2
6 Lincoln National Corp. 28,471,688 3.9
7 Principal Financial Group Inc. 27,038,400 3.7
8 American International Group (AIG) 25,684,294 3.5
9 Jackson National Life Group 23,056,675 3.2
10 Transamerica 22,360,111 3.1

(1) Includes life insurance, annuity considerations, deposit-type contract funds and other considerations, and accident and health insurance. Before reinsurance transactions.
(2) Based on U.S. total, includes territories.

Source: NAIC data, sourced from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insurance Information Institute.

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Life/Annuity Insurance Income Statement, 2015-2019

($ billions, end of year)

  2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 Percent change,
2018-2019 (1)
Revenue            
     Life insurance premiums $151.4 $115.0 $137.1 $145.1 $145.1 (2)
     Annuity premiums and deposits 324.0 318.5 287.2 269.7 341.9 26.8%
     Accident and health premiums 158.8 162.8 169.3 183.1 186.2 1.7
     Credit life and credit accident and health premiums 1.4 1.3 1.3 1.3 (3) NA
     Other premiums and considerations 2.5 2.2 2.1 4.0 6.7 67.4
     Total premiums, consideration and deposits $638.2 $599.9 $597.1 $603.2 $679.9 12.7%
     Net investment income 170.8 173.0 182.3 187.4 186.6 -0.4
     Reinsurance allowance -86.4 -17.0 -25.1 32.0 -29.7 NA
     Separate accounts revenue 35.2 34.7 36.6 37.3 36.8 -1.4
     Other income 90.5 61.3 49.2 44.0 48.8 10.7
     Total revenue $848.2 $851.9 $839.9 $903.9 $922.3 2.0%
Expense            
     Benefits 263.9 271.4 281.4 289.5 302.2 4.4
     Surrenders 273.0 265.1 308.9 350.3 339.6 -3.0
     Increase in reserves 80.5 133.1 106.4 143.3 120.6 -15.9
     Transfers to separate accounts 36.9 -38.0 -65.8 -89.6 -72.0 NA
     Commissions 55.5 64.6 58.0 58.3 61.2 4.9
     General and administrative expenses 60.1 62.4 65.9 65.9 67.9 3.0
     Insurance taxes, licenses and fees 10.5 10.8 8.8 10.7 9.3 -13.4
     Other expenses -4.9 -2.7 -4.1 11.3 14.4 27.1
     Total expenses $775.5 $766.6 $759.4 $839.8 $843.2 0.4%
Net income            
     Policyholder dividends 18.3 18.2 17.5 18.2 18.1 -0.4
     Net gain from operations before federal income tax 54.4 67.1 63.0 46.0 61.0 32.7
     Federal income tax 10.6 16.3 12.4 3.4 9.4 177.7
     Net income before capital gains $43.8 $50.8 $50.6 $42.6 $51.5 21.1%
     Net realized capital gains (losses) -3.5 -11.4 -8.6 -4.7 -6.9 44.6
     Net income $40.3 $39.4 $42.1 $37.8 $44.7 18.1%
     Pre-tax operating income 54.4 67.1 63.0 46.0 61.0 32.7
     Capital and surplus, end of year 354.0 367.2 380.7 394.9 400.0 5.5

(1) Calculated from unrounded data.
(2) Less than 0.1 percent.
(3) Data not available.

NA=Not applicable.

Source: NAIC data, sourced from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insurance Information Institute.

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