Facts + Statistics: Industry overview

 
Insurance industry at-a-glance

  • U.S. insurance industry net premiums written totaled $1.2 trillion in 2017, with premiums recorded by life/annuity (L/A) insurers accounting for 52 percent, and premiums by property/casualty (P/C) insurers accounting for 48 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 $558.2 billion in 2017.
  • 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.
  • Although most private health insurance is written by companies that specialize in that line of business, life/annuity and property/casualty insurers also write this coverage, referred to as accident and health insurance on their annual statements. Total private health insurance direct written premiums were $867.5 billion in 2017, including: $670.1 billion from the health insurance segment; $190.8 billion from the life/annuity segment; and $6.5 billion from property/casualty annual statements, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.
  • There were 5,954 insurance companies in 2017 in the U.S. (including territories). According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners those were comprised of the following: P/C (2,509); life/annuities (852); health (907); fraternal (82); title (58); risk retention groups (240) and other companies (1,306).
  • Insurance carriers and related activities contributed $602.7 billion, or 3.1 percent, to the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  • The U.S. insurance industry employed 2.7 million people in 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Of those, 1.5 million worked for insurance companies, including life and health insurers (870,600 workers), P/C insurers (621,800 workers) and reinsurers (29,100 workers). The remaining 1.2 million people worked for insurance agencies, brokers and other insurance-related enterprises.
  • Total P/C cash and invested assets were $1.69 trillion in 2017, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Life insurance and annuity cash and invested assets totaled $4.1 trillion in 2017; separate accounts assets and other investments totaled $2.7 trillion. The total of cash and invested assets for both sectors was $8.5 trillion. Most of these assets were in bonds (58 percent of P/C assets and 73 percent of life/annuity assets, excluding separate accounts).
  • P/C and life/annuity insurance companies paid $21 billion in premium taxes in 2017, or $64 for every person living in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
  • P/C insurers paid out $101.9 billion in property losses related to catastrophes in 2017, according to the Property Claims Services (PCS) division of Verisk Analytics, the highest since PCS began collecting insured loss data in 1949. The $101.9 billion in losses in 2017 was 370 percent higher than $21.7 billion in 2016.  There were 46 catastrophes in 2017, compared with 42 in 2016.

 
Property/Casualty And Life/Annuity Insurance Premiums, 2018 (1)

(US$ billions)

(1) Property/casualty: net premiums written after reinsurance transactions, excludes state funds; life/annuity: premiums, annuity considerations (fees for annuity contracts) and deposit-type funds. Both sectors include accident and health insurance.

Source: NAIC data, sourced from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insurance Information Institute.

View Archived Graphs

 
Employment In Insurance, 2009-2018

(Annual averages, 000)

  Insurance carriers Insurance agencies, brokerages and related services  
  Direct insurers (1)            
Year Life and
health (2)
Property/
casualty
Reinsurers Total Insurance
agencies
and brokers
Other
insurance-
related
activities (3)
Total Total
industry
2009 802.8 632.9 27.5 1,463.2 653.3 254.2 907.4 2,370.6
2010 804.1 614.3 26.8 1,445.2 642.3 253.1 895.5 2,340.6
2011 788.9 611.6 25.6 1,426.1 649.2 261.1 910.3 2,336.4
2012 811.3 599.5 25.7 1,436.5 659.6 272.3 931.8 2,368.3
2013 813.2 593.7 26.2 1,433.1 672.3 283.5 955.8 2,388.9
2014 829.0 594.7 25.1 1,448.8 720.0 297.1 1,017.1 2,465.8
2015 829.8 611.6 25.1 1,466.5 762.8 309.1 1,071.8 2,538.3
2016 818.9 643.5 25.3 1,487.7 783.5 321.5 1,105.0 2,592.7
2017 850.4 639.7 26.6 1,516.7 809.6 333.3 1,142.9 2,659.6
2018 870.6 621.8 29.1 1,521.5 825.2 343.7 1,168.9 2,690.4

(1) Establishments primarily engaged in initially underwriting insurance policies.
(2) Includes establishments engaged in underwriting annuities, life insurance and health and medical insurance policies.
(3) Includes claims adjusters, third-party administrators of insurance funds and other service personnel such as advisory and insurance ratemaking services.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

View Archived Tables

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, 2014-2018 (1)

($ billions)

  2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Net premiums written  $497.0 $514.4 $528.3 $552.6 $612.6
     Percent change 4.2% 3.5% 2.7% 4.6% 10.8%
Premiums earned  $487.9 $506.0 $523.5 $540.6 $594.1
Losses incurred 277.7 290.7 317.9 347.6 360.9
Loss adjustment expenses incurred 57.3 59.6 60.3 62.7 63.3
Other underwriting expenses 138.3 144.3 147.6 151.0 167.0
Policyholder dividends 2.4 2.5 2.3 2.6 3.0
Net underwriting gain/loss 12.2 8.9 -4.7 -23.3 -0.1
Net investment income 46.4 47.2 46.6 48.9 55.3
Miscellaneous income/loss -2.7 1.5 1.1 -5.2 1.4
Operating income 55.9 57.7 43.0 20.3 56.6
Realized capital gain 10.3 9.4 7.3 15.1 10.4
Federal and foreign income tax 10.3 10.2 7.4 -0.6 7.0
Net income after taxes 55.9 56.8 42.9 36.1 60.0

(1) Data in this chart exclude state funds and other residual market insurers and may not agree with similar data shown elsewhere from different sources.

Source: ISO®, a Verisk Analytics® business.

View Archived Tables

 
Top 10 Writers Of Property/Casualty Insurance By Direct Premiums Written, 2018

($000)

Rank Group/company Direct premiums written (1) Market share (2)
1 State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance $65,861,617 9.7%
2 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. 43,869,809 6.5
3 Liberty Mutual 34,605,081 5.1
4 Progressive Corp. 33,754,923 5.0
5 Allstate Corp. 33,251,176 4.9
6 Travelers Companies Inc. 26,244,172 3.9
7 Chubb Ltd. 22,125,338 3.3
8 USAA Insurance Group 21,984,970 3.2
9 Farmers Insurance Group of Companies  20,309,974 3.0
10 Nationwide Mutual Group 18,416,861 2.7

(1) Before reinsurance transactions, includes state funds and accident and health insurance.
(2) Based on U.S. total, includes territories.

Source: NAIC data, sourced from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insurance Information Institute.

View Archived Tables

 
Top 10 Writers Of Life/Annuities Insurance By Direct Premiums Written, 2018

($000)

Rank Group/company Direct premiums written (1) Market share (2)
1 MetLife Inc.  $96,451,607 14.1%
2 Prudential Financial Inc.  53,148,550 7.8
3 New York Life Insurance Group  35,452,211 5.2
4 Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.  27,154,611 4.0
5 American International Group (AIG) 26,446,934 3.9
6 Lincoln National Corp.  25,804,565 3.8
7 Principal Financial Group Inc.  25,322,774 3.7
8 AXA  22,579,431 3.3
9 Transamerica 22,352,418 3.3
10 Jackson National Life Group  21,511,557 3.2

(1) Includes life insurance, annuity considerations, deposit-type contract funds and other considerations, and accident and health insurance. Before reinsurance transactions.
(2) Based on U.S. total, includes territories.

Source: NAIC data, sourced from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insurance Information Institute.

View Archived Tables

 
Life/Annuity Insurance Income Statement, 2014-2018

($ billions, end of year)

  2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Percent change,
2017-2018 (1)
Revenue            
     Life insurance premiums $133.9 $151.4 $115.0 $137.1 $145.4 6.0%
     Annuity premiums and deposits 352.8 324.0 318.5 287.2 269.7 -6.1
     Accident and health premiums 156.6 158.8 162.8 169.3 184.2 8.8
     Credit life and credit accident and health  premiums 1.4 1.4 1.3 1.3 1.3 4.1
     Other premiums and considerations 2.6 2.5 2.2 2.1 4.0 90.1
     Total premiums, consideration and deposits $647.3 $638.2 $599.9 $597.1 $604.6 1.3%
     Net investment income 171.7 170.8 173.0 182.3 187.4 2.8
     Reinsurance allowance -15.0 -86.4 -17.0 -25.1 32.0 NA
     Separate accounts revenue 34.3 35.2 34.7 36.6 37.3 2.0
     Other income 39.7 90.5 61.3 49.0 44.0 -10.2
     Total revenue $878.0 $848.2 $851.9 $839.8 $905.4 7.8%
Expense            
     Benefits 251.8 263.9 271.4 281.4 290.7 3.3
     Surrenders 281.5 273.0 265.1 308.9 350.3 13.4
     Increase in reserves 108.7 80.5 133.1 106.4 143.4 34.8
     Transfers to separate accounts -16.5 36.9 -38.0 -65.8 -89.6 NA
     Commissions 52.1 55.5 64.6 58.0 58.4 0.6
     General and administrative expenses 59.0 60.1 62.4 65.9 66.0 0.1
     Insurance taxes, licenses and fees 10.0 10.5 10.8 8.8 10.8 22.0
     Other expenses 66.0 -4.9 -2.7 -4.3 11.3 NA
     Total expenses $812.5 $775.5 $766.6 $759.3 $841.1 10.8%
Net income            
     Policyholder dividends 16.4 18.3 18.2 17.5 18.2 4.0
     Net gain from operations before federal income tax 49.0 54.4 67.1 63.0 46.0 -26.9
     Federal income tax 10.1 10.6 16.3 12.4 3.4 -72.3
     Net income before capital gains $38.9 $43.8 $50.8 $50.6 $42.6 -15.8%
     Net realized capital gains (losses) -1.3 -3.5 -11.4 -8.6 -4.7 NA
     Net income $37.6 $40.3 $39.4 $42.1 $37.9 -10.0%
     Pre-tax operating income 49.0 54.4 67.1 63.0 46.0 -26.9
     Capital and surplus, end of year 354.0 367.2 380.7 394.9 400.0 1.3

(1) Calculated from unrounded data.

NA=Not applicable.

Source: NAIC data, sourced from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insurance Information Institute.

View Archived Tables

Back to top