Facts + Statistics: Distribution channels

Life insurance distribution channels

Life insurance was once sold primarily by career life agents, also known as captive agents, representing a single insurance company, and by independent agents, representing several insurers. Now, life insurance is sold directly to the public by mail, telephone, and the Internet. Independent insurance agents have the largest share of the market, followed by affiliated agents.



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Worksite marketing is the selling of voluntary (employee-paid) insurance and financial products at the worksite. The products may be sold individually or in groups, and policyholders usually pay premiums through periodic payroll deductions. Worksite sales of life and health insurance totaled $8.3 billion in 2021, up from $7.46 billion in 2020, according to Eastbridge Consulting Group.



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Annuity distribution

According to LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute, 2023 individual annuity sales reached historic levels ($385B) for the second year in a row. Banks were the largest single distributor of annuities, with 24 percent of sales, higher than in 2019 when they accounted for 18 percent of the market. Independent broker-dealers accounted for the second-largest share of annuity sales by channel with 21 percent in 2023, less than in 2019 when they accounted for 24 percent of the market.

Sales Of Individual Annuities By Distribution Channels, 2019 And 2023


Source: U.S. Individual Annuities, GLIMPSE Quarterly Reports, LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute.

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Property/Casualty Insurance Distribution

Property/Casualty Distribution Channels by Net Premiums Written 2018 and 2022


(1) Less than 1 percent.

Source: © AM Best - used with permission.

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