How big is the market for insurance in the U.S.? And which companies dominate the industry? Our newest visualization provides an intuitive way to think about insurance company rankings based on direct premiums.
- MetLife wrote the most direct premiums in any single insurance sector, topping $103.3M in its life/annuity insurance business.
- State Farm boasts the highest market share of any insurance sector. The company received $40.4M of direct passenger auto insurance premiums in 2020, about 16.2% of the total market.
- The insurance market is much more fragmented in some sectors than others. Workers’ compensation only has two companies, Travelers and Hartford, with more than 5% market share.
- Direct premiums don’t always translate into profits. They don’t take into account reinsurance or how much money gets paid out in claims.
We found the information for our visualization at the Insurance Information Institute (III). We wanted to understand how much money was coming into which companies across the entire insurance industry, broken down into different sectors. The circles in our visual correspond to the amount of direct premiums written in 2020, while the color highlights the relative percentage of market share. We added each company’s logo to make it even easier to see the largest winners in each sector.
Our visualization shows how some parts of the insurance industry are a lot more top-heavy than others. MetLife clearly dominated the life/annuity sector last year, taking in some $103.3M in direct premiums. Life insurance is complicated, but that represents about 13% of the entire market. Homeowners and auto insurance are also both top-heavy, with State Farm taking the top spot in each. But compare that to workers’ compensation or commercial property insurance, where several companies control much smaller slices. In fact, Travelers and Hartford are the only two companies with more than 5% market share of workers’ comp (7.3% and 5.9%, respectively).
There are a few things to keep in mind about our visualization of insurance premiums. First off, our visual doesn’t consider reinsurance, which occurs when a company issues a policy and then transfers the underlying risk to other companies. Different types of insurance are also subject to wildly different market conditions. A major hurricane for example could devastate a large part of the country, and property/casualty companies could lose a lot of money. Likewise, the COVID-19 pandemic has scrambled plans around life expectancy, not to mention workers’ compensation. In other words, just because a company is getting a lot of premium income, doesn’t necessarily mean it translates into profitability.
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