Facts + Statistics: Industry overview

 
Insurance industry at-a-glance

  • U.S. insurance industry net premiums written totaled $1.28 trillion in 2020, with premiums recorded by property/casualty (P/C) insurers accounting for 51 percent, and premiums by life/annuity insurers accounting for 49 percent, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.
  • P/C insurance consists primarily of auto, homeowners and commercial insurance. Net premiums written for the sector totaled $652.8 billion in 2020.
  • The life/annuity insurance sector consists of annuities, accident and health, and life insurance. Net premiums written for the sector totaled $624.0 billion in 2020.
  • Although most private health insurance is written by companies that specialize in health insurance, life/annuity and P/C insurers also write coverage referred to as accident and health insurance. Total private health insurance direct premiums written were $1.1 trillion in 2020, including: $834.4 billion from the health insurance segment; $209.8 billion from the life/annuity segment; and $6.4 billion from P/C annual statements, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. The health insurance sector also includes government programs.
  • In 2019 there were 5,965 insurance companies in the U.S. (including territories), according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. This number includes: P/C (2,496 companies), life/annuities (837), health (952), fraternal (82), title (61), risk retention groups (243) and other companies (1,251).
  • Total P/C cash and invested assets were $2.0 trillion in 2020, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Life/annuity cash and invested assets totaled $4.7 trillion in 2020; separate accounts assets and other investments totaled $3.0 trillion. The total of cash and invested assets for both sectors was $9.7 trillion. Most of these assets were in bonds (55 percent of P/C assets, and 70 percent of life/annuity assets, excluding separate accounts).
  • P/C and life/annuity insurance companies paid $24.7 billion in premium taxes in 2020, or $75 for every person living in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
  • P/C insurers paid out $74.4 billion in property losses related to natural catastrophes in 2020, according to Aon, compared with $38.7 billion in 2019, and $60.4 billion in 2018, including losses from the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • The U.S. insurance industry employed 2.9 million people in 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Of those, 1.7 million worked for insurance companies, including life and health insurers (962,500 workers), P/C insurers (665,900 workers) and reinsurers (27,300 workers). The remaining 1.2 million people worked for insurance agencies, brokers and other insurance-related enterprises.
  • Insurers have responded quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic. Using information collected by the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF), the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I) estimates that by June 2020, U.S. insurers and their foundations had donated about $280 million in the fight against COVID-19. In addition, international insurers and their foundations donated more than $150 million. U.S. auto insurers have also responded to the pandemic by returning more than $14 billion to their customers nationwide, in response to reduced driving during the pandemic, according to a Triple-I estimate.

 
Property/Casualty And Life/Annuity Insurance Premiums, 2020 (1)

($ 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.

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Employment In Insurance, 2011-2020

(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
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 1,436.4 659.6 272.3 931.8 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 1,448.7 720.0 297.1 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 882.8 629.5 28.6 1,540.9 825.6 346.2 1,171.8 2,712.7
2019 931.2 650.3 28.6 1,610.1 842.8 349.5 1,192.2 2,802.3
2020 962.5 665.9 27.3 1,655.7 853.4 349.0 1,202.4 2,858.1

(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.

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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, 2016-2020

($ billions)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Net premiums written  $534.0 $558.4 $618.3 $639.5 $655.5
     Percent change 2.6% 4.6% 10.7% 3.4% 2.5%
Premiums earned  $529.2 $546.4 $599.7 $627.3 $642.7
Losses and loss adjustment expenses incurred 382.5 414.7 428.3 445.6 450.8
Other underwriting expenses 148.0 151.1 167.7 172.5 179.3
Policyholder dividends 2.9 3.3 3.7 4.9 7.7
Net underwriting gain/loss -2.4 -20.8 2.6 7.8 11.9
Net investment income 47.5 49.7 57.0 56.3 53.4
Miscellaneous income/loss -2.4 -9.0 -2.4 -2.5 -1.9
Operating income 43.1 20.2 57.3 60.5 59.0
Realized capital gain 8.5 19.6 10.7 11.0 10.4
Federal income tax 7.3 -0.8 7.2 8.5 8.7
Net income after taxes 44.3 40.6 60.8 63.1 60.7

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

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Top 10 Writers Of Property/Casualty Insurance By Direct Premiums Written, 2020

($000)

Rank Group/company Direct premiums written (1) Market share (2)
1 State Farm $66,153,063 9.1%
2 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. 46,358,896 6.4
3 Progressive Corp. 41,737,283 5.7
4 Allstate Corp. 39,210,020 5.4
5 Liberty Mutual 36,172,570 5.0
6 Travelers Companies Inc. 28,786,741 4.0
7 USAA Insurance Group 24,621,246 3.4
8 Chubb Ltd. 24,199,582 3.3
9 Farmers Insurance Group of Companies 20,083,339 2.8
10 Nationwide Mutual Group 18,499,967 2.5

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

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

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Top 10 Writers Of Life/Annuity Insurance By Direct Premiums Written, 2020

($000)

Rank Group/company Direct premiums written (1) Market share (2)
1 MetLife Inc. $103,335,055 13.0%
2 Equitable Holdings 62,688,657 7.9
3 Prudential Financial Inc. 61,913,976 7.8
4 New York Life Insurance Group 40,211,642 5.1
5 Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. 38,461,197 4.9
6 Principal Financial Group Inc. 26,439,671 3.3
7 Lincoln National Corp. 25,385,450 3.2
8 Western & Southern Financial Group 22,920,717 2.9
9 Transamerica 22,875,109 2.9
10 American International Group (AIG) 22,620,803 2.9

(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.

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Life/Annuity Insurance Income Statement, 2016-2020

($ billions, end of year)

  2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Percent change,
2019-2020 (1)
Revenue            
     Life insurance premiums $115.0 $137.1 $145.1 $151.0 $143.1 -5.3%
     Annuity premiums and deposits 318.5 287.2 269.7 339.8 294.6 -13.3
     Accident and health premiums 162.8 169.3 183.1 185.0 184.7 -0.2
     Credit life and credit accident and health premiums 1.3 1.3 1.3 1.4 1.2 -16.3
     Other premiums and considerations 2.2 2.1 4.0 (2) (2) (2)
     Total premiums, consideration and deposits $599.9 $597.1 $603.2 $679.4 $625.7 -7.9%
     Net investment income 173.0 182.3 187.4 186.7 186.0 -0.4
     Reinsurance allowance -17.0 -25.1 32.0 -29.7 -22.8 -23.2
     Separate accounts revenue 34.7 36.6 37.3 36.8 37.4 1.6
     Other income 61.3 49.2 44.0 48.7 55.0 12.8
     Total revenue $851.9 $839.9 $903.9 $921.9 $881.2 -4.4%
Expense            
     Benefits 271.4 281.4 289.5 301.8 314.2 4.1
     Surrenders 265.1 308.9 350.3 339.6 323.4 -4.8
     Increase in reserves 133.1 106.4 143.3 120.6 109.8 -8.9
     Transfers to separate accounts -38.0 -65.8 -89.6 -72.0 -69.2 -3.9
     Commissions 64.6 58.0 58.3 61.2 60.1 -1.8
     General and administrative expenses 62.4 65.9 65.9 67.8 67.0 -1.2
     Insurance taxes, licenses and fees 10.8 8.8 10.7 9.3 11.5 23.8
     Other expenses -2.7 -4.1 11.3 14.4 8.4 -41.8
Total expenses $766.6 $759.4 $839.7 $842.8 $825.2 -2.1%
Net income            
     Policyholder dividends 18.2 17.5 18.2 18.1 18.0 -0.5
     Net gain from operations before federal income tax 67.1 63.0 46.0 61.0 38.0 -37.7
     Federal income tax 16.3 12.4 3.4 9.4 5.1 -45.6
     Net income before capital gains $50.8 $50.6 $42.6 $51.6 $32.9 -36.2%
     Net realized capital gains (losses) -11.4 -8.6 -4.7 -6.9 -10.7 56.6
     Net income $39.4 $42.1 $37.9 $44.7 $22.1 -50.5%
     Pre-tax operating income 67.1 63.0 46.0 61.0 38.0 -37.7
     Capital and surplus, end of year 380.7 395.0 399.9 421.7 440.0 4.3

(1) Calculated from unrounded data.
(2) Data not available.

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

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