A Firm Foundation: How Insurance Supports the Economy
Insurance Industry at a Glance
The U.S. insurance industry’s net premiums written totaled $1.2 trillion in 2015, with premiums recorded by life/health (L/H) insurers accounting for 55 percent and premiums by property/casualty (P/C) insurers accounting for 45 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 $519.8 billion in 2015.
The L/H insurance sector consists primarily of annuities and life insurance. Net premiums written for the sector totaled $635.6 billion in 2015.
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.
There were 5,926 insurance companies in 2015 in the United States (including territories), including P/C (2,544), life/annuities (872), health (859), fraternal (85), title (56), risk retention groups (239) and other companies (1,261), according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Insurance carriers and related activities contributed $450.3 billion, or 2.6 percent, of U.S. gross domestic product in 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The U.S. insurance industry employed 2.5 million people in 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Of those, 1.5 million worked for insurance companies, including life and health insurers (851,100 workers), P/C insurers (599,700 workers) and reinsurers (25,100 workers). The remaining 1.1 million people worked for insurance agencies, brokers and other insurance-related enterprises.
Total P/C cash and invested assets were $1.5 trillion in 2015, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. L/H cash and invested assets totaled $3.7 trillion in 2015. The total of cash and invested assets for both sectors was $5.2 trillion. The majority of these assets were in bonds (62 percent of P/C assets and 74 percent of L/H assets).
P/C and L/H insurance companies paid $19.2 billion in premium taxes in 2015, or $60 for every person living in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
P/C insurers paid out $15.2 billion in property losses related to catastrophes in 2015, compared with $15.5 billion in 2014 according to the Property Claims Services division of Verisk Analytics. There were 39 catastrophes in 2015, compared with 31 in 2014.