A Firm Foundation: How Insurance Supports the Economy

Key Facts: The Insurance Industry’s Contribution To The California Economy

The insurance industry in California has a significant impact on the state’s economy that extends well beyond its responsibilities to collect premiums and settle claims. It employs licensed professionals, pays taxes, owns municipal bonds and serves people in their times of greatest need.

Below are tables showing the state’s leading insurance companies, based on market share, and links to state by state comparison tables.

Employment

U.S. Department of Commerce data show the insurance industry provided 307,212 jobs in California in 2015. The California insurance industry accounted for about $24.1 billion in compensation in 2015.

Gross State Product

The insurance industry contributed $33.4 billion to the California gross state product (GSP) in 2014, accounting for 1.44 percent of the state GSP.

Taxes

Premium taxes paid by insurance companies in California totaled $2.4 billion in 2015.

Premiums

Direct premiums written by property/casualty insurance companies in California totaled $69.5 billion in 2015. In addition, premiums written by life/health insurance companies totaled $65.5 billion (including life insurance, annuities, accident and health insurance, deposit type funds and other considerations).

Surplus Lines

The surplus lines market, a group of highly specialized insurers, exists to provide coverage that is not available through licensed insurers in the standard insurance market. For the many thousands of businesses that rely on some level of surplus line protection to keep their doors open, surplus lines is an important segment of the market. The California surplus lines market accounted for $6.9 billion in gross premiums written in 2015, according to a survey by Business Insurance.

Claims Payments

Insurance company claims payments help ensure the economic security of individuals and businesses and help sustain a number of related industries. In 2015 these payments in California as measured by direct property/casualty incurred losses, were $39.5 billion. Life insurance claims and benefits payouts in California totaled $45.7 billion in 2015, on a direct basis before reinsurance, and includes life insurance, death benefits, matured endowments, annuity benefits and other life insurance benefits. Does not include accident and health.

Catastrophes

Insurers help defray the cost of natural disasters. Eight of the 10 most costly U.S. earthquakes occurred in California, topped by the 1994 Northridge earthquake, which caused about $24.5 billion in insured damages in 2015 dollars, according to Munich Re. But in 2016 only 11 percent of California homeowners had earthquake insurance, according to the California Insurance Department.  In August, 2014 a 6.0 magnitude quake occurred in South Napa, California causing $700 million in total damage and $150 million in insured losses. Eight of the 10 costliest wildfires occurred in California, topped by the 1991 Oakland fire, which caused $2.7 billion in insured damages in 2015 dollars, according to the Property Claim Services unit of Verisk. In 2016 California ranked second in the nation for wildfires with 7,349 fires. It also ranked second by number of acres burned with 560,815 acres.

Leading Writers

Top 10 Writers Of Commercial Insurance In California By Direct Premiums Written, 2015 (1)

 

Rank Group/company Direct premiums written ($000) Market share
1 Chubb Ltd. (2) $2,229,477 5.9%
2 American International Group (AIG) 2,120,558 5.6
3 Travelers Companies Inc. 2,045,967 5.4
4 Liberty Mutual 1,840,920 4.8
5 Zurich Insurance Group (3) 1,757,637 4.6
6 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. 1,700,952 4.5
7 State Compensation Insurance Fund 1,639,880 4.3
8 AmTrust Financial Services 1,485,761 3.9
9 Farmers Insurance Group of Companies (3) 1,460,200 3.8
10 Hartford Financial Services 1,206,121 3.2

(1) Before reinsurance transactions.
(2) Chubb Ltd. data reflects the 2015 merger with Ace Ltd.
(3) Data for Farmers Insurance Group of Companies and Zurich Financial Group (which owns Farmers' management company) are reported separately by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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

View Archived Tables

Top 10 Writers Of Earthquake Insurance In California By Direct Premiums Written, 2015

Rank Group/company Direct premiums written (1) Market share
1 California Earthquake Authority $635,955 38.7%
2 Zurich Insurance Group (2) 120,999 7.4
3 Chubb Ltd. (3) 97,846 6.0
4 GeoVera Insurance Holdings Ltd. 92,147 5.6
5 American International Group (AIG) 68,675 4.2
6 Everest Re Group Ltd. 43,892 2.7
7 Swiss Re Ltd. 42,378 2.6
8 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. 36,193 2.2
9 ICW Group 34,473 2.1
10 Golden Bear Insurance Co. 31,245 1.9

(1) Before reinsurance transactions, includes state funds.
(2) Data for Farmers Insurance Group of Companies and Zurich Financial Group (which owns Farmers' management company) are reported separately by S&P Global Market Intelligence.
(3) Chubb Ltd. data reflect the 2015 merger with ACE Ltd.

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

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Top 10 Writers Of Homeowners Insurance In California By Direct Premiums Written, 2015 (1)

 

Rank Group/company Direct premiums written ($000) Market share
1 State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance $1,472,081 19.7%
2 Farmers Insurance Group of Companies (2) 1,199,450 16.1
3 Allstate Corp.  566,601 7.6
4 CSAA Insurance Exchange 496,160 6.6
5 Auto Club Exchange Group 440,100 5.9
6 Liberty Mutual 430,800 5.8
7 USAA Insurance Group 340,599 4.6
8 Mercury General Corp. 316,558 4.2
9 Nationwide Mutual Group 303,083 4.1
10 Travelers Companies Inc. 223,572 3.0

(1) Before reinsurance transactions.
(2) Data for Farmers Insurance Group of Companies and Zurich Financial Group (which owns Farmers' management company) are reported separately by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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

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Top 10 Writers Of Life Insurance And Annuity Considerations In California, 2015 (1)

 

Rank Group/company Premiums and annuity considerations ($000) Market share
1 Prudential Financial Inc.   $3,872,169 7.6%
2 AEGON   3,301,142 6.4
3 New York Life Insurance Group   2,799,781 5.5
4 Jackson National Life Group   2,646,364 5.2
5 American International Group (AIG)   2,508,141 4.9
6 Manulife Financial Corp.   2,311,911 4.5
7 MetLife Inc.   2,263,474 4.4
8 Lincoln National Corp.   2,096,772 4.1
9 Voya Financial Inc.   1,887,780 3.7
10 Principal Financial Group Inc.   1,814,064 3.5

(1) Includes life insurance, annuity considerations, deposit-type contract funds and other considerations; excludes accident and health insurance from life/health insurers. Before reinsurance transactions.

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

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Top 10 Writers Of Private Passenger Auto Insurance In California By Direct Premiums Written, 2015 (1)

 

Rank Group/company Direct premiums written ($000) Market share
1 State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance $3,358,928 14.4%
2 Farmers Insurance Group of Companies (2) 2,894,321 12.4
3 Allstate Corp.  2,032,965 8.7
4 Mercury General Corp. 1,923,392 8.3
5 Auto Club Exchange Group 1,885,077 8.1
6 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. 1,814,503 7.8
7 CSAA Insurance Exchange 1,530,185 6.6
8 USAA Insurance Group 1,044,934 4.5
9 Progressive Corp. 968,690 4.2
10 Liberty Mutual 791,251 3.4

(1) Before reinsurance transactions.
(2) Data for Farmers Insurance Group of Companies and Zurich Financial Group (which owns Farmers' management company) are reported separately by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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

View Archived Tables

State By State Comparison Tables

Directories

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