Cash and invested assets of property/casualty insurance companies totaled $1.53 trillion in 2015. This represents 87 percent of total assets, which were $1.75 trillion. Most of these assets were invested in highly liquid securities (high-quality stocks and bonds, for example, rather than real estate), which can be sold quickly to pay claims in the event of a major catastrophe.
($ millions, end of year)
Property/casualty insurers invest primarily in safe, liquid securities, mainly bonds. These provide stability against underwriting results, which can vary considerably from year to year. The vast majority of bonds are government issued or are high-grade corporates. Bonds in or near default accounted for less than 1 percent (0.16 percent) of all short- and long-term bonds owned by insurers at the end of 2015, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.