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The NAIC's Top 7 U.S. Life Insurers of 2018

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The seven biggest players in the U.S. life insurance market ended up with a slightly smaller share of direct life insurance premium revenue in 2018 than they captured in 2017.

The insurers’ direct life insurance premium revenue fell to $60.6 billion, down 1.4% from the 2017 total. Their share of the U.S. life market fell to 36.3%, from 36.4%.

(Related: 4 of the Top 5 Life Insurers Increased 2017 Revenue: NAIC)

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, a group for state insurance regulators, develops the market share rankings to help regulators identify the leading insurance writers and keep tabs on how healthy the level of competition is.

For a look at the NAIC’s top seven writers for 2018, ranked in order from least gigantic to most gigantic, see the data cards in the slideshow above.

The Context

All life issuers with 2018 filings in the NAIC financial statement database combined for $167 billion in 2018 direct life premium revenue, down 1.1% from the 2017 total.

The NAIC breaks out separate premium total and market share for the 25 highest-revenue issuers.

  • To rank in the top 25: An insurer had to have at least $1.9 billion in direct life premium revenue, down 10% from what was needed in 2017.
  • To rank 13th on the list: An insurer had to have $3.36 billion in direct life premium revenue in 2018, down 1.3% from what was needed in 2017.

The term “direct life premium revenue” refers to premium revenue that an insurer collects as a result of its own product sales, rather than through reinsurance arrangements.


The top seven U.S. life issuers are all in the same places in the NAIC market share rankings for 2018 that they were in for the 2017 rankings.

MetLife Inc. and Lincoln National Corp. showed the biggest changes in their life premium totals.

MetLife’s direct life premium revenue fell 16%, to about $11 billion, partly because of the Brighthouse Financial Inc. spinoff.

At Lincoln National, which does business as Lincoln Financial, life revenue increased 18%, to $8.8 billion, in part because of the acquisition of a life insurance business from Liberty Mutual.


A copy of the NAIC’s life market share rankings for 2018 is available here.

A copy of the comparable rankings for 2017 is available here.

— Read 2016′s Top 10 Life Insurance Providers Ranked by NAIC, on ThinkAdvisor.

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