Search This Website

Thursday, 16 December 2021

Top 10 Insurance Companies By The Metrics


Insurance companies are important players in the global financial economy, although they may not be as flashy as investment banks or hedge funds.

Insurance companies come in many sizes and specialize in different policy lines, from health to life to property & casualty.

Here we compare some of the largest insurers by market cap and by premium sales.

Largest by Market Capitalization

Investors can buy shares of publicly traded companies in the insurance industry. The largest insurance companies as of 2018 by market capitalization on the world stock exchanges were:

Non-health Insurance Companies:   

Company Name Market Capitalization

Berkshire Hathaway (

BRK.A) $308 billion

China Life Insurance ( LFC) $80  billion

Allianz (AZSEY)  $76.8 billion

American International Group ( AIG) $72.3 billion

Ping An of China (PNGAY) $65.6 billion

MetLife ( MET) $59.4 billion


AXA) $57.8 billion

AIA Group Hong Kong (AAIGF) $54.4 billion

ING Groep ( ING) $54.4 billion

Zurich Insurance (ZURVY) $45.4 Billion

(Source: Thompson Reuters)

Health Insurance and Managed Health Care Companies:

Company Name                                   Market Capitalization

United Healthcare ( UNH) $91.8 billion

Wellpoint (

WLP) $34.3 billion

Aetna (AET) $29.8 billion

CIGNA Corp. ( CI) $26.8 billion

Humana ( HUM) $21.1 billion

Centene Corp. ( CNC) $5.7 billion

Health Net, Inc. (

HNT) $3.9 billion

WellCare Health Plans ( WCG) $3.1 billion

Healthspring (

HS) $3.7 billion

Molina Healthcare ( MOH) $2.4 billion

(Source: Thompson Reuters)

Not all insurance companies are publicly traded. In fact, many insurers are structured as mutual companies where policy holders of participating policies are essentially partial owners of the company. The mutual company model for an insurance company dates back hundred of years, and there are certain benefits conferred on policyholders that do not exist with publicly traded (stock company) insurers.

Largest Insurance Companies by Sales and Product Line

It is useful to differentiate between the type of insurance, or line, that is being considered when considering the largest insurance companies. Using sales data is helpful as some of the largest insurance companies in the United States are not publicly traded and therefore their market value is not easily ascertained.

Property & Casualty

Property casualty insurers write policies covering property such as real estate, dwellings, cars and other vehicles. They also write policies dealing with liabilities that may be incurred by accident or negligence related to those properties to defray the cost of lawsuits or medical damages resulting from such incidents.

The top U.S. property casualty companies in 2018 by net premiums written (the amount of money that non-life policies can expect to receive over the life of the contract, less commissions and costs) are:

Company  Net Premiums Written

State Farm Group $64.6 billion

Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)  $46.0 billion 

Allstate Insurance Group ( ALL ) $30.6 billion 

Liberty Mutual $28.6 billion 

Progressive Insurance Group ( PGR ) $27.1 billion 

Travelers Group ( TRV )  $24.5 billion 

USAA Group $19.6 billion

Nationwide Group  $18.8 billion

Farmers Insurance Group $14.3 billion 

American International Group ( AIG ) $14.2 billion 

(Source A.M. Best)

Life Insurance Companies

Life Insurance companies promise to pay out a lump sum benefit upon the death of the insured. Although actuarial science has created mortality tables to accurately estimate the future liability of policies to be paid, having financial strength ensures that these companies can meet all of their obligations while still earning a profit.

Life Insurance companies in the U.S. can be ranked by direct premium written (the amount of new policies written directly and not re-insured). For 2018:

 Company  Total Direct Premium  Market Share

Metropolitan Group ( MET) $12.6 billion 7.87%

Northwestern Mutual $10.1 billion 6.29% 

New York Life Group $8.8 billion  5.48%

Prudential of America ( PRU ) $8.6 billion 5.33%

Lincoln National $6.9 billion 4.30%

MassMutual $6.6 billion  4.15%

Aegon ( AEG ) $4.6 billion  2.90%

John Hancock $4.4 billion 2.84%

State Farm $4.0 billion 2.73%

Guardian Life Insurance Co. $3.8 billion 2.38%

(Source: NAIC)

Health Insurance Companies

Health insurance companies provide policies to cover all or part of policyholder's health and medical costs. Policies may be purchased individually or through an employer. Technically, the United States government is the largest health insurance provider in America through the Medicare program, Social Security and with Medicaid administered by individual states.

The largest non-government sponsored U.S. health insurance companies measured by total direct premium collected in 2016 was:

Company Total Direct Premium Market Share

UnitedHealth Group ( UNH) $125 billion 12.90%

Kaiser Foundation Group $72.6 billion 7.46%

Anthem Inc Group $59.8 billion 6.15% 

Aetna Group (AET

) $54.3 billion 5.58% 

Humana Group  $53.8 billion  5.53%

HCSC Group $32.3 billion 3.31%

Centene Corp Group $25.7 billion 2.64%

Cigna Health Group  ( CI ) $24.0 billion  2.47%

Molina Healthcare Inc Group $17.8 billion  1.83%

Independence Health Group Inc Group $17.0 billion 1.75% 

(Source: NAIC. Note: The sales data on insurance companies is from 2016, the last year of available data.)

The Bottom Line

Ranking the largest insurance companies can be done in a number of ways. Shares of publicly traded companies can be bought to help build a well-diversified investment portfolio that has exposure to the financial and healthcare sectors. Identifying which types of insurance a company primarily deals with helps determine which firms are competitors and which really are not. Looking at sales figures, or premiums collected in a year, one can also see how public companies stack up against privately held or mutual companies which make up a large segment of the industry.

Compete Risk Free with $100,000 in Virtual Cash

Put your trading skills to the test with our FREE Stock Simulator. Compete with thousands of Investopedia traders and trade your way to the top! Submit trades in a virtual environment before you start risking your own money. Practice trading strategies so that when you're ready to enter the real market, you've had the practice you need. Try our Stock Simulator today >>

No comments:

Post a Comment