The Good News In 2000? More Pluses Than Minuses
By Jim Connolly
In what amounts to good news for the industry, readers combing through statistical results for 2000 will be marking off more pluses than minuses if they compare the numbers with 1999′s totals. Click Here to see the full report!!! (Viewable in Adobe Acrobat)
Overall, the top 25 companies in each category saw their totals grow in 2000 over 1999 despite a year of concerns that went to the very heart of the industry. Those concerns included the impact of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999 and insurers’ place in the new financial services world.
But from one year to the next, one thing seems to be certain with these statistical results–companies like Prudential Insurance Company of America, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, and other leaders, continue to head up the pack.
Data is based on information reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in Kansas City, Mo., for 2000.
All in all, 15 of the top 25 insurers in the admitted assets category posted increases, including Prudential’s $4.52 billion increase.
While Met Life saw admitted assets drop to $181.3 billion from $183.9 billion, TIAA’s assets increased to $118.6 billion from 1999′s $110.5 billion.
Met Life’s John Nadel, assistant vice president of investor relations in New York, says the market’s reduction of separate account assets balances has impacted admitted assets totals for Met Life as well as other companies. For instance, Equitable Life (N.Y.) and IDS Life Insurance Company saw totals drop by $5 billion and just over $4 billion, respectively.
But Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company experienced a gain of approximately $6 billion.
Other companies that moved up in the pack include Jefferson-Pilot Financial Insurance Company, Golden American Life Insurance Company, Travelers Life & Annuity, and Security Life of Denver Insurance Company.
For the most part, premium income among the top 25 insurers grew in 2000. Twenty-two of the top 25 insurers experienced increases in this category.
Met Life retained its number one spot, although its total declined to $23.5 billion from $24.6 billion. Nadel explains that when Met Life demutualized, it established a closed block of participating life insurance policies as a step toward demutualization. That amount, in excess of $1 billion, was reinsured, reducing the premium total in 2000, he says.
Nationwide Life Insurance moved into the number two spot with its $3.3 billion increase over 1999′s total. Allstate Life Insurance Company grew $3.2 billion.
Hartford Life Insurance Company bounded to 6th place from number 20 with premium income growing to $11.5 billion in 2000 from $6.4 billion in 1999.
Robert Piatkowski, a financial analyst with Hartford Life in Simsbury, Conn., says that a $3 billion COLI sale in the individual and group life areas pushed up the total as well as a modco reinsurance arrangement that resulted in less premium being ceded. A modco arrangement also resulted in the growth of annuity premium.
In general, according to Piatkowski, sales have been augmented by the growth in VA products and the bank distribution channel.
Nineteen of the top 25 companies reporting individual life premiums experienced growth in 2000 compared with 1999. Of those 25, six had growth or declines that were near previous levels and could be described as flat.
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company remained in first place, growing by $542.7 million to $7.3 billion.
Reassure America Life Insurance Company leap-frogged to fourth place with a total of $3.75 billion in 2000 compared with 1999′s $81.5 million.