Life Insurance Carriers Industry Profile

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Excerpt from Life Insurance Carriers Industry Profile

Companies in this industry underwrite life insurance and related products including annuities, long-term care, disability, and accidental death and dismemberment policies. Major companies include MetLife, New York Life, and Prudential Financial (all based in the US), as well as AEGON (the Netherlands), AXA (France), Nippon Life (Japan), and Prudential (UK).

Global life insurance premiums totaled about $5.2 trillion in 2018, according to Swiss Re. Sales growth is expected to increase in the coming years, driven by increased demand in emerging markets such as China.

The US life insurance industry includes about 8,600 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with annual revenue of about $502 billion.


Demand is driven by demographics and the economy. The profitability of individual companies depends on effective marketing and investment strategies and on the ability to accurately estimate future payments. Large companies take advantage of economies of scale in administration and in access to capital, as well as advertising and marketing. Small companies can compete successfully by providing specialized services to communities and organizations, such as current and former military personnel, church affiliations, and fraternal organizations. The US industry is highly concentrated: the largest 50 firms generate more than 90% of industry revenue.

Carriers face an aging population, which could result in rising claims. Success may depend on new financial products marketed to a demographic that is more dependent on retirement assets than previous ...

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