INSURANCE INDUSTRY AT A GLANCE
- The U.S. insurance industry’s net premiums written totaled $1.2 trillion in 2015, with premiums recorded by life/health (L/H) insurers accounting for 55 percent and premiums by property/casualty (P/C) insurers accounting for 45 percent, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.
- P/C insurance consists primarily of auto, home and commercial insurance. Net premiums written for the sector totaled $519.8 billion in 2015.
- The L/H insurance sector consists primarily of annuities and life insurance. Net premiums written for the sector totaled $635.6 billion in 2015.
- 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 5,926 insurance companies in 2015 in the United States (including territories), including P/C (2,544), life/annuities (872), health (859), fraternal (85), title (56), risk retention groups (239) and other companies (1,261), according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
- Insurance carriers and related activities contributed $450.3 billion, or 2.6 percent, of U.S. gross domestic product in 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
- The U.S. insurance industry employed 2.6 million people in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Of those, 1.5 million worked for insurance companies, including life and health insurers (811,900 workers), P/C insurers (648,200 workers) and reinsurers (25,000 workers). The remaining 1.1 million people worked for insurance agencies, brokers and other insurance-related enterprises.
- Total P/C cash and invested assets were $1.5 trillion in 2015, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. L/H cash and invested assets totaled $3.7 trillion in 2015. The total of cash and invested assets for both sectors was $5.2 trillion. The majority of these assets were in bonds (62 percent of P/C assets and 74 percent of L/H assets).
- P/C and L/H insurance companies paid $19.2 billion in premium taxes in 2015, or $60 for every person living in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
- P/C insurers paid out $15.2 billion in property losses related to catastrophes in 2015, compared with $15.5 billion in 2014 according to the Property Claims Services division of Verisk Analytics. There were 39 catastrophes in 2015, compared with 31 in 2014.
Property/Casualty And Life/Health Insurance Premiums, 2015 (1)
Employment In Insurance, 2007-2016
(Annual averages, 000)
A property/casualty insurer must maintain a certain level of surplus to underwrite risks. This financial cushion is known as “capacity.” When the industry is hit by high losses, such as a major hurricane, capacity is diminished. It can be restored by increases in net income, favorable investment returns, reinsuring more risk, and/or raising additional capital.
Property/Casualty Insurance Industry Income Analysis, 2011-2015 (1)
Top 10 Writers Of Property/Casualty Insurance By Direct Premiums Written, 2015
Top 10 Writers Of Life/Health Insurance/Annuities By Direct Premiums Written, 2015
Life/Health Insurance Industry Income Statement, 2011-2015
($ billions, end of year)