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 TEN 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 (4), (5) 371,588 108,174 479,762 -3.7 10.04
3 United Kingdom (4) 235,321 115,945 351,266 7.9 7.35
4 P.R. China (6) 176,950 151,490 328,439 17.3 6.90
5 France (7) 172,761 97,759 270,520 5.1 5.66
6 Germany (6) 118,475 136,170 254,644 2.8 5.33
7 Italy (8) 145,292 49,443       194,735 15.3 4.08
8 South Korea (5) 101,572 57,943 159,515 9.4 3.34
9 Canada (9), (10) 52,138 73,235 125,373 -2.0 2.62
10 Netherlands (4) 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) Estimated.
(5) April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2015.
(6) Provisional.
(7) Life premiums are provisional; nonlife premiums are estimated.
(8) Nonlife premiums are estimated.
(9) Life premiums are net premiums.
(10) Life premiums are estimated; nonlife premiums are provisional.

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

View Archived Tables

 

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.

View Archived Graphs

 

 

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.

View Archived Tables

 

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 38.2 percent of the U.S. premium written that was ceded in 2013, while offshore companies accounted for 61.8 percent. However, a number of U.S.-based reinsurers are owned by foreign companies. Taking this into consideration, foreign reinsurers accounted for 91.9 percent while U.S. professional reinsurers accounted for 8.1 percent.

 

U.S. REINSURANCE PREMIUMS CEDED TO UNAFFILIATED AND AFFILIATED OFFSHORE REINSURERS BY COUNTRY, 2011-2013 (1)

($ millions)

    Unaffiliated offshore reinsurers Affiliated offshore reinsurers  
Rank Country 2011 2012 2013 2011 2012 2013 2013 total
1 Bermuda $9,798 $9,387 $9,676 $21,802 $23,918 $22,597 $32,273
2 Switzerland 1,316 1,151 1,388 7,496 9,013 10,434 11,822
3 United Kingdom 4,680 4,719 4,781 792 544 1,654 6,435
4 Germany 2,697 2,883 3,655 972 1,318 1,579 5,234
5 Cayman Islands 2,548 2,963 3,308 377 591 1,321 4,629
6 Turks and Caicos 733 873 1,047 79 234 270 1,317
7 Channel Islands 1,518 2,883 1,261 NA NA NA 1,261
8 Ireland 485 454 490 323 194 174 664
9 Barbados 607 652 659 NA NA NA 659
10 France NA NA NA 436 256 630 630
11 British Virgin Islands 355 434 464 NA NA NA 464
12 Spain NA NA NA 164 278 266 266
13 Canada NA NA NA 92 96 100 100
  Total, countries shown $24,737 $26,399 $26,729 $32,533 $36,442 $39,025 $65,754
  Total, all countries $26,374 $26,790 $28,386 $33,051 $36,929 $37,357 (2) $65,743 (2)

(1) Ranked by 2013 total reinsurance premiums.
(2) Includes ($1.91) billion in affiliated premiums ceded to Japan.

NA=Data not available.

Source: Reinsurance Association of America.

View Archived Tables

 

 

TOP TEN GLOBAL INSURANCE COMPANIES BY REVENUES, 2013 (1)

($ millions)

Rank Company Revenues Country Industry
1 Berkshire Hathaway $182,150.0 U.S. Property/casualty
2 AXA 165,893.5 France Life/health
3 Japan Post Holdings 152,125.8 Japan Life/health
4 Allianz 134,636.1 Germany Property/casualty
5 UnitedHealth Group 122,489.0 U.S. Health
6 Assicurazioni Generali 115,224.4 Italy Life/health
7 Munich Re Group 83,844.8 Germany Property/casualty
8 Prudential 81,867.7 U.K. Life/health
9 China Life Insurance 80,909.4 China Life/health
10 Zurich Insurance Group 72,045.0 Switzerland Property/casualty

(1) Based on an analysis of companies in the Global Fortune 500. Includes stock and mutual companies.

Source: Fortune.

View Archived Tables

 

 

TOP TEN GLOBAL PROPERTY/CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANIES BY REVENUES, 2011 (1)

($ millions)

Rank Company Revenues Country
1 Berkshire Hathaway $143,688 U.S.
2 Allianz 134,168 Germany
3 Munich Re Group 90,137 Germany
4 American International Group 71,730 U.S.
5 State Farm Insurance Cos. 64,305 U.S.
6 Zurich Insurance Group 52,983 Switzerland
7 MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings 47,684 Japan
8 Tokio Marine Holdings  43,264 Japan
9 People's Insurance Co. of China 36,549 China
10 NKSJ Holdings 35,343 Japan

(1) Based on an analysis of companies in the Global Fortune 500. Includes stock and mutual companies.

Source: Fortune.

View Archived Tables

 

 

TOP TEN 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.

View Archived Tables

  • 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 TEN 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.

View Archived Tables

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

 

TOP TEN 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.

View Archived Tables

 

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.

 

FOREIGN INSURANCE SALES IN THE U.S., 2008 (1)

($ millions)

Country/region Purchased directly from foreign firms Purchased through majority-owned U.S. affiliates of multinational corporations (2) Total
Canada $897 $6,520 $7,417
Europe 26,017 33,497 59,514
Latin America and other
Western Hemisphere
28,546 4,646 33,192
Japan 226 774 1,000
Other (3) 421 2,225 2,646
Total $56,107 $47,662 $103,769

(1) Largely based on premiums. Includes adjustments for "normal" i.e., expected losses and premium supplements (income due to policy holders). Cross-border insurance also includes auxiliary insurance. Includes all types of insurance, including property/casualty, life and reinsurance.
(2) Based on primary industry of the ultimate beneficial owner.
(3) For services purchased through majority-owned U.S. affiliates, includes U.S. affiliates with a foreign parent, but whose ultimate beneficial owner is in the United States.

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

View Archived Tables

 

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, 2013-2014

    Number of captives
Rank Domicile 2013 2014
1 Bermuda 831 800
2 Cayman Islands 759 759
3 Vermont 588 587
4 Utah 342 (1) 422
5 Anguilla 295 379
6 Delaware 298 333
7 Guernsey 318 (1) 321
8 Nevis 276 281
9 Barbados 264 271
10 Luxembourg 226 (1) 224
11 Hawaii 184 194
12 District of Columbia 170 (1) 191
13 Montana 150 177
14 Nevada 148 160
15 South Carolina 145 158
16 Puerto Rico 107 (1) 152
17 British Virgin Islands 147 146
18 Isle of Man 123 (1) 122
18 Kentucky 128 122
20 Arizona 106 114
  Total, top 20 5,605 5,913
  Total, all captives 6,412 6,876

(1) Restated.

Source: Business Insurance (www.businessinsurance.com), March 16, 2015.

View Archived Tables