INSURANCE INDUSTRY AT A GLANCE
- The U.S. insurance industry’s net premiums written totaled $1 trillion in 2013, with premiums recorded by life/health (L/H) insurers accounting for 54 percent and premiums by property/casualty (P/C) insurers accounting for 46 percent, according to SNL Financial.
- P/C insurance consists primarily of auto, home and commercial insurance. Net premiums written for the sector totaled $481.2 billion in 2013.
- The L/H insurance sector consists primarily of annuities and life insurance. Net premiums written for the sector totaled $560.3 billion in 2013.
- Health insurance is generally considered separate. The sector includes private health insurance companies as well as government programs. P/C and L/H insurers also write some health insurance.
- There were 6,086 insurance companies in 2013, including P/C (2,623 companies), life/annuities (904), health (835), fraternal (87), title (58), risk retention groups (256) and other companies (1,323), according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
- Insurance carriers and related activities accounted for $421.4 billion, or 2.5 percent of U.S. gross domestic product in 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
- The U.S. insurance industry employed 2.5 million people in 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Of those, 1.5 million worked for insurance companies, including life, health and medical insurers (838,200 workers), P/C insurers (596,000 workers) and reinsurers (25,200 workers). The remaining 1 million people worked for insurance agencies, brokers and other insurance-related enterprises.
- Total P/C cash and invested assets were $1.5 trillion in 2013, according to SNL Financial. L/H cash and invested assets totaled $3.5 trillion in 2013. The majority of these assets were in bonds (63 percent of P/C assets and 75 percent of L/H assets).
- P/C and L/H insurance companies paid $17.4 billion in premium taxes in 2013, or $55 for every person living in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
- P/C insurers paid out $12.9 billion in property losses related to catastrophes in 2013, compared with $35.0 billion in 2012, according to ISO. There were 28 catastrophes in 2013, compared with 26 in 2012.
U.S. PROPERTY/CASUALTY AND LIFE/HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS, 2014 (1)
EMPLOYMENT IN INSURANCE, 2005-2014
(Annual averages, 000)
A property/casualty insurer must maintain a certain level of surplus to underwrite risks. This financial cushion is known as “capacity.” When the industry is hit by high losses, such as a major hurricane, capacity is diminished. It can be restored by increases in net income, favorable investment returns, reinsuring more risk, and/or raising additional capital.
PROPERTY/CASUALTY INSURANCE INDUSTRY INCOME ANALYSIS, 2010-2014 (1)
TOP 10 WRITERS OF PROPERTY/CASUALTY INSURANCE BY DIRECT PREMIUMS WRITTEN, 2014
TOP 10 WRITERS OF LIFE INSURANCE/ANNUITIES BY DIRECT PREMIUMS WRITTEN, 2014
LIFE/HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY INCOME STATEMENT, 2010-2014
($ billions, end of year)