The Insurance Industry

  • The U.S. insurance industry’s net premiums written totaled $1.1 trillion in 2011, with premiums recorded by life/health (L/H) insurers accounting for 58 percent and premiums by property/casualty (P/C) insurers accounting for 42 percent, according to SNL Financial LC.
  • P/C insurance consists primarily of auto, home and commercial insurance. Net premiums written for the sector totaled $442 billion in 2011.
  • The L/H insurance sector consists primarily of annuities and life insurance. Net premiums written for the sector totaled $619 billion in 2011.
  • There were 6,296 insurance companies in 2011, including property/casualty (2,686 companies), life/annuities (1,013), health (803), fraternal (90), title (58), risk retention groups (268) and other companies (1,378).
  • Insurance carriers and related activities accounted for $405 billion, or 2.8 percent of U.S. gross domestic product in 2010.
  • The U.S. insurance industry employed 2.3 million people in 2011. Of those, 1.4 million worked for insurance companies, including life, health and medical insurers (772,500 workers), P/C insurers (599,300 workers) and reinsurers (26,300 workers). The remaining 883,600 people worked for insurance agencies, brokers and other insurance-related enterprises.
  • Total P/C cash and invested assets were $1.3 trillion in 2011. L/H cash and invested assets totaled $3.4 trillion in 2011. The majority of these assets were in bonds (67 percent of P/C assets and 75 percent of L/H assets).
  • P/C and L/H insurance companies paid $16.4 billion in premium taxes in 2011, or $53 for every person living in the United States.
  • P/C insurers paid out $33.6 billion in property losses related to catastrophes in 2011, more than double 2010’s $14.3 billion, according to ISO. There were 30 catastrophes in 2011, compared with 33 in 2010.