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The Life & Health Rankings Are Back!

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Theyre B-A-A-A-A-C-K!!!

Were referring, of course, to the industry rankings in our Life & Health Statistical Report.

[Click here to view the Life & Health Statistical report.]

Last year, for reasons we wont even go into now, we did not publish the rankings for the first time in decades. We quickly found out how important some of the time-honored traditions here at National Underwriter are to our readership. In some perverse way, the indignation and anger that readers expressed over our not publishing these figures was very gratifying–we came to realize just how much the industry looks forward to and depends on them.

Well, here they are. And to make up for what we did not produce last year, this report includes results not only from 2002 but from 2001 as well.

This year the report is being co-sponsored by Fitch Ratings. Julie Burke, a managing director at Fitch, has written a most informative article (see page 16) that provides an insightful overview of the industry as it starts to recover from the stresses of 2002, which by all accounts was a very tough year for the business.

In the following pages youll find rankings in several categories–admitted assets, premium income, investment income, individual life premiums, individual annuity premiums, group life premiums, net gain, total in-force, group in-force, individual in-force, all health insurers, group health premiums, individual leaders, non-cancellable premiums and guaranteed renewable premiums.

Metropolitan Life sits atop the rankings in many of the categories. In terms of admitted assets, Met is the industry leader with over $200.5 billion, up 8.6% from 2001s total of $184.7 billion.

Another healthy increase in assets among the top 10 companies was at Teachers Insurance & Annuity, which rose 9.7% to a little over $142 billion from $129.7 billion the year before.

A little further down the list, two companies in the AIG family–Sunamerica Life and AIG Annuity Co.–flexed their muscles and showed asset increases of 32% and 36%, respectively.

Overall, 63 companies have admitted assets of $10 billion or more. As impressive as that is, it is down from 65 companies in 2001. Many companies on the list suffered a hit to their asset totals due to the tough economic environment.

Other categories in which Metropolitan Life was the leader are premium income, where with $22.4 billion it is more than $6 billion ahead of second-place Prudential; net gain after dividends, where its total was more than twice second-place Travelers; group life premiums; and total in-force, where it extended its lead over Prudential, which ranks second.

Teachers was the leader in net investment income, with a total of $9.24 billion, up 5.6% over 2001. This was in a year when six out of the top 10 companies had a decrease in investment income.

Companies at or near the top of pack that had hefty increases in terms of individual life premiums were perennial leader Northwestern Mutual with an 8.8% rise; American Life Insurance Company, up 26.4%; and New York Life Insurance & Annuity, up an amazing 48.1%.

There was a lot of upward mobility in the individual annuity premiums category.

Sitting atop the list in 2002 was AIG Annuity Insurance Company, whose premium total increased 56.6% to $8.5 billion. Third-place Transamerica Lifes annuity premiums rose 110% to $7.7 billion. But the most spectacular increase came from Allianz Life of North America, which zoomed 365% to come in second at just shy of $8 billion in individual annuity premium.

Turning to the health sector, United Healthcare topped the lists of all health insurers and group health premiums with $8.1 billion, up 23% from its 2001 total of $6.59 billion.

Other big movers among group health insurers were Connecticut General Life with a 19.2% rise in premiums and Health Care Service Corp. with a 18.4% increase.

Among individual health leaders, AFLAC, as is customary, dwarfed the competition with some $7.76 billion in premium, up from $7.3 billion in 2001.

AFLACs premium total is well over five times the amount of second-place American Life Insurance Company, which had $1.36 billion in individual health premium.

American Life was the leader in the non-cancellable premium category, with Paul Revere Life and Provident Life & Accident coming in second and third, respectively.

Among guaranteed renewable companies, AFLAC ruled the roost, well ahead of Bankers Life & Casualty and United American Insurance Company, which came in second and third, respectively.

Finally, although many people had a hand in compiling these rankings, the lions share of the work was done by NU Senior Editor Jim Connolly. Special thanks also go to Susanne Sclafane, managing editor of NUs Property & Casualty edition, for her assistance and support.

Data Source: National Association of Insurance Commissioners, by permission. NAIC does not endorse conclusions based on its data. Data reported as of July 2003 was compiled by Thomson Financial Insurance Solutions.

Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, August 18, 2003. Copyright 2003 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.


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