International

Information on international insurance, including world premiums, reinsurance and captives is below. Additional statistics including country profiles are available in the I.I.I. International Insurance Fact Book.

PREMIUMS

WORLD LIFE AND NONLIFE INSURANCE IN 2014

Outside the United States, the insurance industry is divided into life and nonlife, or general insurance, rather than life/health and property/casualty. World insurance premiums rose 3.7 percent in 2014, adjusted for inflation, after stagnating in 2013, according to Swiss Re’s latest study of world insurance. Nonlife premiums rose 2.9 percent in 2014, adjusted for inflation, following 2.7 percent growth in 2013. Life insurance premiums grew by 4.3 percent after inflation in 2014, after having fallen 1.8 percent in 2013, adjusted for inflation.

In 2014 life and nonlife insurance premiums (excluding cross-border business) accounted for 6.2 percent of world gross domestic product (GDP). Premiums accounted for 18.9 percent of GDP in Taiwan, the highest share in the Swiss Re study, followed by 14.2 percent in Hong Kong, 14.0 percent in South Africa, 11.3 percent in South Korea and 11.0 percent in the Netherlands. Premiums represented 7.3 percent of GDP in the United States, the 16th highest share in the study.

 

TOP 10 COUNTRIES BY LIFE AND NONLIFE DIRECT PREMIUMS WRITTEN, 2014 (1)

(U.S. $ millions)

        Total premiums
Rank Country Life premiums Nonlife premiums (2) Amount Percent change
from prior year
Percent of total
world premiums
1 United States (3), (4) $528,221 $752,222 $1,280,443 2.1% 26.80%
2 Japan (5), (6) 371,588 108,174 479,762 -3.7 10.04
3 United Kingdom (5) 235,321 115,945 351,266 7.9 7.35
4 P.R. China (7) 176,950 151,490 328,439 17.3 6.90
5 France (8) 172,761 97,759 270,520 5.1 5.66
6 Germany (7) 118,475 136,170 254,644 2.8 5.33
7 Italy (9) 145,292 49,443       194,735 15.3 4.08
8 South Korea (6) 101,572 57,943 159,515 9.4 3.34
9 Canada (10), (11) 52,138 73,235 125,373 -2.0 2.62
10 Netherlands (5) 21,855 74,100 95,956 -3.5 2.01

(1) Before reinsurance transactions.
(2) Includes accident and health insurance.
(3) Nonlife premiums include state funds; life premiums include an estimate of group pension business.
(4) Life premiums are estimated.
(5) Estimated.
(6) April 1, 2014, to March 31, 2015.
(7) Provisional.
(8) Life premiums are provisional; nonlife premiums are estimated.
(9) Nonlife premiums are estimated.
(10) Life premiums are net premiums.
(11) Life premiums are estimated; nonlife premiums are provisional.

Source: Swiss Re, sigma, No. 4/2015.

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WORLD PREMIUMS PER CAPITA

Swiss Re’s latest world insurance study is based on direct premium data from 147 countries, with detailed information on the largest 88 markets. In 2014 an average of $662 per capita was spent on insurance, with an average of $136 in emerging markets and $3,666 in advanced markets. Among the 10 largest insurance markets, premiums per capita ranged from a high of $5,689 in the Netherlands to a low of $235 in China. In the United States, the world’s largest insurance market, premiums per capita totaled $4,017, including $1,657 for life insurance and $2,360 for nonlife insurance. By region, total premiums per capita were $3,969 in North America; $2,600 in Oceania (Australia and New Zealand); $1,902 in Europe; $307 in Asia; and $61 in Africa.

 

WORLD LIFE AND NONLIFE INSURANCE DIRECT PREMIUMS WRITTEN, 2014

( $ billions)

Source: Swiss Re, sigma, No. 4/2015.

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WORLD LIFE AND NONLIFE INSURANCE DIRECT PREMIUMS WRITTEN, 2012-2014 (1)

(U.S. $ millions)

Year Life Nonlife (2) Total
2012 $2,624,993 $1,976,336 $4,601,329
2013 2,545,045 2,048,587 4,593,632
2014 2,654,549 2,123,699 4,778,248

(1) Before reinsurance transactions.
(2) Includes accident and health insurance.

Source: Swiss Re, sigma, No. 4/2015.

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REINSURANCE

Each year the Reinsurance Association of America (RAA) provides an overview of the countries from which U.S. insurance companies obtain reinsurance, i.e., the countries to which they have ceded, or transferred, some of their risk. The analysis includes premiums that a U.S. insurance company cedes to “offshore” i.e., foreign, reinsurance companies that are not part of the insurer’s own corporate group (“unaffiliated offshore insurers” in the chart below), as well as business ceded to overseas reinsurers that are part of the insurer’s corporate family (“affiliated offshore reinsurers” in the chart below).

The RAA report compares U.S. insurance premiums ceded to U.S. professional reinsurance companies to the U.S. premiums ceded to offshore, i.e., foreign, companies. U.S. professional reinsurance companies accounted for 36.6 percent of the U.S. premium written that was ceded in 2014, while offshore companies accounted for 63.4 percent. However, a number of U.S.-based reinsurers are owned by foreign companies. Taking this into consideration, foreign reinsurers accounted for 91.5 percent, while U.S. professional reinsurers accounted for 8.5 percent.

 

U.S. REINSURANCE PREMIUMS CEDED TO UNAFFILIATED AND AFFILIATED OFFSHORE REINSURERS BY COUNTRY, 2012-2014 (1)

($ millions)

    Unaffiliated offshore reinsurers Affiliated offshore reinsurers  
Rank Country 2012 2013 2014 2012 2013 2014 2014 total
1 Bermuda $9,387 $10,019 $9,962 $23,918 $25,471 $25,465 $35,427
2 Switzerland 1,151 1,426 2,192 9,013 10,803 11,815 14,007
3 United Kingdom 4,719 5,137 4,980 544 477 512 5,492
4 Germany 2,883 3,712 3,740 1,318 1,579 1,541 5,281
5 Cayman Islands 2,963 3,301 2,981 591 982 1,096 4,077
6 Turks and Caicos 873 1,084 1,445 234 237 291 1,736
7 Channel Islands 2,883 1,252 1,323 NA NA NA 1,323
8 Barbados 652 658 761 NA NA NA 761
9 Ireland 454 565 441 194 180 168 609
10 British Virgin Islands 434 462 499 NA NA NA 499
11 Japan NA NA NA 294 -1,857 464 464
12 France NA NA NA 256 336 337 337
13 Spain NA NA NA 278 266 259 259
  Total, countries shown $26,398 $27,615 $28,372 $36,640 $38,474 (2) $41,949 $70,321
  Total, all countries $26,790 $29,176 $30,211 $36,929 $38,741 (2) $42,295 $72,506

(1) Ranked by 2014 total reinsurance premiums.
(2) Includes -$1.86 billion in affiliated premiums ceded to Japan.

NA=Data not available.

Source: Reinsurance Association of America.

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TOP 10 GLOBAL INSURANCE COMPANIES BY REVENUES, 2014 (1)

($ millions)

Rank Company Revenues Country Industry
1 Berkshire Hathaway $194,673 U.S. Property/casualty
2 AXA 161,173 France Life/health
3 Allianz 136,846 Germany Property/casualty
4 Japan Post Holdings 129,686 (2) Japan Life/health
5 Assicurazioni Generali 118,871 Italy Life/health
6 Prudential plc 98,976 U.K. Life/health
7 China Life Insurance 87,249 China Life/health
8 Ping An Insurance 86,021 China Life/health
9 Legal & General Group 84,805 U.K. Life/health
10 Munich Re 81,685 Germany Property/casualty

(1) Based on an analysis of companies in the Global Fortune 500. Includes stock and mutual companies.
(2) Fiscal year ending March 31, 2015.

Source: Fortune.

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TOP 10 GLOBAL PROPERTY/CASUALTY REINSURERS BY NET REINSURANCE PREMIUMS WRITTEN, 2013

($ millions)

Rank Company Net reinsurance
premiums written
Country
1 Munich Reinsurance Co. $22,545.9 Germany
2 Swiss Re Ltd. 14,542.0 Switzerland
3 Hannover Re S.E. 12,905.8 Germany
4 Berkshire Hathaway Reinsurance Group 11,440.0 U.S.
5 Lloyd's of London 11,363.7 U.K.
6 Scor S.E.  5,931.9 France
7 Everest Re Group Ltd. 5,004.8 Bermuda
8 PartnerRe Ltd. 4,479.1 Bermuda
9 Korean Reinsurance Co. 3,499.0 (1) South Korea
10 Transatlantic Holdings Inc. 3,248.0 U.S.

(1) Fiscal year ending March 31.

Source: Business Insurance (www.businessinsurance.com), September 1, 2014.

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  • Net reinsurance premiums written by the top 10 global reinsurers rose from $117.8 billion in 2011 to $123.9 billion in 2012, according to Business Insurance.

 

TOP 10 GLOBAL INSURANCE BROKERS BY REVENUES, 2014 (1)

($ millions)

Rank Company Brokerage revenues Country
1 Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. $12,966 U.S.
2 Aon P.L.C. 12,019 U.K.
3 Willis Group Holdings P.L.C. 3,767 U.K.
4 Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. 3,530 U.S.
5 Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group P.L.C. 1,714 U.K.
6 BB&T Insurance Holdings Inc. 1,714 U.S.
7 Brown & Brown Inc. 1,567 U.S.
8 Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA Inc. 1,299 U.S.
9 Hub International Ltd. 1,296 U.S.
10 Lockton Cos. L.L.C. (2) 1,231 U.S.

(1) Revenue generated by insurance brokerage and related services.
(2) Fiscal year ending April 30.

Source: Business Insurance (www.businessinsurance.com), July 20, 2015.

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  • Revenue generated by the world’s 10 largest brokers increased to $41.1 billion in 2014 from $24.8 billion in 2005.

 

TOP 10 GLOBAL REINSURANCE BROKERS BY GROSS REINSURANCE REVENUES, 2013 (1)

($000)

Rank Company Gross reinsurance revenues Country
1 Aon Benfield $1,505,000 U.K.
2 Guy Carpenter & Co. L.L.C. (2) 1,131,267 U.S.
3 Willis Re 860,000 U.K.
4 JLT Reinsurance Brokers Ltd. 375,869 U.K.
5 Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford Ltd. 158,466 U.K.
6 Miller Insurance Services L.L.P. (3) 93,528 U.K.
7 UIB Holdings Ltd. (2) 67,463 U.K.
8 THB Group Ltd.  58,094 U.K.
9 BMS Group Ltd. 54,300 U.K.
10 Lockton Re (3) 46,029 U.K.

(1) Includes all reinsurance revenue reported through holding and/or subsidiary companies.
(2) Includes aviation reinsurance business placed by Marsh L.L.C.
(3) Fiscal year ending April 30.

Source: Business Insurance (www.businessinsurance.com), October 27, 2014.

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The U.S. Department of Commerce provides estimates on two methods of international delivery of insurance services: through sales by subsidiaries of multinational corporations (for example, sales to the European market through a European-based subsidiary of a U.S. insurer) or through cross-border trade (a domestic company or individual transacting directly with a foreign company, for example a European firm purchasing insurance from a U.S. firm through a broker, or a U.S. primary insurer purchasing reinsurance from an overseas reinsurer). The combination of these methods of delivery creates a broad measure of insurance services provided and received from abroad.

 

U.S. INSURANCE SALES ABROAD, 2007-2013

($ millions)

Year Sold directly (1) Sold through majority-owned
foreign affiliates of U.S.
multinational corporations (2)
2007 $10,841 $55,290
2008 13,403 61,794
2009 14,586 61,609
2010 14,397 58,379
2011 15,114 59,942
2012 16,534 65,829
2013 16,096 NA

(1) Largely based on premiums. Includes adjustments for "normal" i.e., expected losses and premium supplements (income due to policy holders). BEA refers to this category as "cross border sales." Includes property/casualty, life insurance and reinsurance.
(2) Based on sales by primary industry of the affiliate; there could be other services, such as financial services, included in the data.

NA=Data not available.

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), International Division.

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INSURANCE BUSINESS IN THE U.S. WRITTEN BY SUBSIDIARIES OF FOREIGN CONTROLLED COMPANIES, 2009-2013

($ millions)

  Gross premiums written
  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Life $172,464 $132,870 $139,311 $141,524 $143,429
Nonlife 103,296 78,504 82,199 69,668 74,219
Total (1) $275,760 $211,374 $221,511 $211,192 $217,648

(1) Calculated from unrounded data.

Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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INSURANCE BUSINESS IN THE U.S. WRITTEN BY SUBSIDIARIES OF FOREIGN CONTROLLED COMPANIES, 2013

($ billions)

 

Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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CAPTIVES

Over the years, a number of alternatives to traditional commercial insurance have emerged to respond to fluctuations in the marketplace. Captives—a special type of insurance company set up by a parent company, trade association or group of companies to insure the risks of its owner or owners—emerged during the 1980s, when businesses had trouble obtaining some types of commercial insurance coverage. Other alternative risk transfer (ART) arrangements include self insurance, risk retention groups and risk purchasing groups. By 2006, ART accounted for 30 percent of the commercial market, according to Conning Research.

 

LEADING CAPTIVE DOMICILES, 2014-2015

    Number of captives
Rank (1) Domicile 2014 2015
1 Bermuda 800 797
2 Cayman Islands 759 708
3 Vermont 587 596
4 Utah 422 450
5 Delaware  333 323
6 Anguilla  379 319
6 Guernsey  321 319
8 Nevis  281 268
9 Barbados  231 (2) 236
10 Luxembourg  224 217
11 Nevada 160 202
12 Hawaii 194 197
13 Montana 177 196
14 District of Columbia 191 193
15 Puerto Rico 152 (2) 182 (3)
16 South Carolina 158 167
17 British Virgin Islands 146 142
18 Tennessee 70 (1) 127
19 Isle of Man 122 115
20 Arizona 114 110
  Total, top 20 5,821 5,864
  Total, all captives 6,839 6,939

(1) Domiciles with the same number of captives receive the same rank.
(2) Restated.
(3) Estimate.

Source: Business Insurance (www.businessinsurance.com), February 29, 2016.

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