Nearly every category in this statistical report covering the life insurance industry shows respectable growth–even if that growth is slow and steady.

Even in the one category where a decline was posted, individual annuity premiums, the decline for the top 200 companies was a scant 2%.

This article details some of the more prominent changes in each category.

Admitted assets

The top 200 companies as measured by admitted assets grew 6% to $4.37 trillion in 2005 from $4.1 trillion in 2004.

The top 10 companies grew 7% in 2005 to $1.4 trillion from $1.34 trillion and represented a third of the admitted assets for the top 200 in both 2005 and 2004.

Among the most notable increases in year-over-year totals was Prudential Retirement Insurance Annuity Company with a 130% increase to $52.7 billion in 2005 from $22.9 billion in 2004.

Other notable increases included Penn Treaty Network America with an 846% increase to $1.03 billion in 2005 from $108.6 million in 2004. State Life’s admitted assets grew to $2.3 billion in 2005, a 443% increase over 2004′s $424.4 million.

Companies that experienced declines in admitted assets include Golden Rule Life, which saw a decline of 65% to $826 million in 2005 compared with 2004′s $2.4 billion, and Connecticut General Life, which declined 59% to $20.7 billion in 2005 from $50.7 billion in 2004.

Premium income

A 4% increase in premium income was posted by the top 200 companies, increasing the total to $517.9 billion in 2005 from $496.8 billion in 2004. The top 10 companies in this category also grew 4% to $155.6 billion in 2005 compared with $149.6 billion in 2004. In both 2005 and 2004, the top 10 represented 30% of the premium income of the total 200 companies.

Companies that posted large increases were Chase Life of New York, which went from $3.1 million in 2004 to $188.9 million in 2005, and American Heritage Life, which rose to $414.4 million in 2005, up from $24.3 million in 2004.

Several other companies also registered noteworthy increases, including Metlife Investors USA, up 414%; Metlife Investors Life, up 353%; First Metlife Investors, up 327%; AGL Life Assurance, up 290%; and Security Life of Denver, up 182%.

Net investment income

For the top 200, net investment income increased 6% to $156.5 billion in 2005 from $148.3 billion in 2004. The increase for the top 10 companies in the category was also 6%. The top 10′s $55.1 billion total represented 35% of the top 200′s total as did the $51.9 billion total in 2004.

Net gain after dividends

Net gains increased handsomely for the top 200 companies, growing 12% to $39.3 billion in 2005 compared with $34.5 billion in 2004. For the top 10 companies in the category, the growth rate was 8% to $12.1 billion from $11.1 billion. The top 10 represented 31% of the top 200′s total in 2005 compared with 32% in 2004.

Extremes dominated the results in this category with many companies posting large increases or decreases in 2005 over 2004. Large increases in net gain after dividends ranged from 172% for Liberty Life of Boston to 1,551% for Union Fidelity Life.

In the top 10, sizeable gains were posted by Prudential with 19%; United Healthcare with 20%; TIIA with 35%; AXA Equitable with 34%; and Aetna Life with 36%. Met Life, however, recorded an 89% decline.

Other large increases were posted by Valley Forge Life with 217%; Mony Life with 256%; Aurora National Life, successor of Executive Life Ins. Co., with 239%; Berkshire Hathaway Life with 273%; and William Penn Life of New York with 365%.

Large decliners included companies such as John Hancock Life and First Allmerica Finance Life.

Individual life premiums

Individual life premiums increased 4% in 2005 to $109.2 billion, up from $105.4 billion in 2004 for the top 200. The top 10 companies constituted a respective 43% and 42% in 2005 and 2004. In 2005, the top 10 companies had individual life premiums totaling $47.2 billion compared with $43.8 billion in 2004, up 8%.

Of the top 10, American Life posted the largest increase, growing 41% in 2005 to $12.4 billion from $8.8 billion. Another large increase was recorded by ING Life of America with a 17% increase to $2.6 billion in 2005 compared with $2.2 billion in 2004.

Number 7 ranked Prudential, however, dropped 38% to $2.8 billion in 2005 from $4.48 billion in 2004.

Other significant changes were posted by Met Life Investors USA and Horace Mann Life.

Individual annuity premiums

For the top 200 companies, individual annuity premiums showed a 2% decline in 2005 over 2004, dropping to $163 billion from $167 billion. The decline was more pronounced among the top 10 companies, with a 4% drop to $70.2 billion in 2005 from $72.9 billion in 2004. The top 10 represented 43% of the total individual annuity premium in 2005 for the top 200 and 44% in 2004.

The top 10 were largely divided into two camps: those that posted solid double-digit increases and those registering double-digit declines.

Increases in the top 10 were posted by IDS Life, 29%; Jackson National Life, 14%; Lincoln National Life and Pacific Life, each up 13%; and Teachers Insurance & Annuity Association of America, 10%.

Three of the top 10 registered double-digit declines including: American Life, down 46%; Hartford Life & Annuity, down 25%; and Hartford Life, down 17%.

Other major increases in 2005 included Prudential and Security Life of Denver. Large declines included 117% for Reassure America Life and a 404% decline for Liberty Bankers Life.

Group life premiums

Group life premiums for the top 200 increased 5% in 2005 over 2004 to $29.1 billion from $27.6 billion.

The top 10′s $18.5 billion in premium made up 63% of the top 200′s premium in 2005, and at $16 billion, 58% of the top 200′s premium in 2004. In 2005, the top 10 posted a 15% increase over 2004′s group life premium total.

Contributing to that 15% increase were sizeable jumps in several of the top 10′s group life premium: Nationwide Life with an 89% increase; Prudential, 26%; New York Life, 15%; Minnesota Life, 13%; and Life Ins. Co. of North America, 10%.

For the top 200 companies, increases ranged from 54% for Forethought Life to 11,905% for Pacificare Life and Health.

Total in-force

Total in-force business increased by 6% for the top 200, growing to $31.9 trillion from $30.1 trillion in 2004. Growth among the top 10 was even stronger with 2005′s $11.3 trillion topping 2004′s $10.5 trillion by 8%. In both 2005 and 2004, the top 10 represented 35% of the top 200′s total in force business.

Some of the largest year-over-year increases ranged from 97% for Scottish Re U.S. to 688% for Met Life Investors USA.

Group life in-force

For 2005, the top 200 companies’ group life in-force grew 7% to $9.2 trillion, up from $8.7 trillion in 2004. The growth was even greater for the top 10 companies with in-force totals increasing 11% to $6.2 trillion in 2005 from $5.6 trillion in 2004.

Individual life in-force

The top 200 are 6% bigger if measured by individual life in-force business with a $22.7 trillion total in 2005 compared with a total of $21.4 trillion in 2004.

The top 10 in the category also grew 6% to $7.8 trillion in 2005, up from $7.4 trillion in 2004. In 2005 and 2004, the top 10 represented a respective 34% and 35% of the top 200.

For the category, large increases ranged from a 97% increase posted by Scottish Re U.S. Inc. to a 688% increase registered by Met Life Investors USA.

An 81% decline was recorded by Allianz Life of North America.