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Leading 20 Insurer Groups Accounted For A Combined 26.8% Of Total Direct Business Worldwide In 2019 Featured

  • The combined share of direct business of the top 20 insurer groups in the global market falls slightly in 2019 relative to the previous year;
  • Viewed worldwide, health insurance is the most concentrated sector followed by P&C (non-life) lines and then by life / annuity business;
  • Allianz was ranked second globally by both direct business and total assets with UnitedHealth Group first by the former measure and Ping An by the latter.

According to global rankings published recently by Insuramore, the leading 20 insurer groups accounted for a combined 26.8% of total direct business worldwide in 2019, itself worth just over USD 6.4 trillion, down a little from an equivalent figure of 27.3% for the top 20 groups in the previous year. In descending order, the leading five groups on this measure in 2019 were UnitedHealth Group, Allianz, Ping An, China Life Insurance Group and Kaiser Foundation. However, in terms of total balance sheet assets, and again in descending order, the top five insurer groups in 2019 were Ping An, Allianz, Prudential Financial, AXA and MetLife.

One reason for the slightly higher degree of fragmentation in 2019 relative to 2018 was the fall of China-based Dajia Insurance Group from ninth position to 30th position in the global ranking because of its divestment during the year of several of its insurance subsidiaries, most notably Hexie Health Life.

With specific regards to total life, annuity and retirement-related business, worth around USD 2.95 trillion in gross direct premiums and related inflows in 2019, the leading five insurance groups worldwide in 2019, again in descending order, were MetLife, Allianz, China Life Insurance Group, Ping An and AEGON. The combined market share of the top ten insurance groups in this arena in the same year was 20.9% making it a much less concentrated activity at the global level than health insurance and somewhat less concentrated than P&C (nonlife) insurance, for which the corresponding figures were a respective 43.0% and 25.6%.

Health insurance is the most concentrated of the three sectors because of the weight of the US market relative to the other two. In fact, led by UnitedHealth Group, the top ten insurer groups worldwide for this line in 2019 were all ones headquartered in (and active solely or mainly in) the US as were 16 of the top 20. These top 20 were separated only by two China-based groups – namely, Ping An in 11th position and China Life Insurance Group in 14th position – plus two headquartered in Europe, namely Achmea and AXA, ranked a respective 17th and 20th by gross direct premiums for health cover.

Turning to total P&C insurance, comprising both private and commercial lines, and believed by Insuramore to be worth over USD 1.85 trillion in 2019, the leading five insurer groups globally in that year in terms of gross direct premiums written were State Farm, PICC, Allianz, Berkshire Hathaway Insurance and AXA. Overall, only AXA and Ping An featured in the global top 20 for each of life / annuity, health and P&C business albeit Allianz, China Life Insurance Group and Generali were each ranked in the top 20 for two out of these three broad segments.

As for the most rapidly growing insurer groups worldwide during 2019, those in the top 500 globally that experienced the most significant expansion in gross premiums and related inflows were Kuvare Group, Sinatay Life and EquiTrust Life. Kuvare Group is a privately-owned consolidator based in the US that achieved fast growth in part as a result of its acquisition during the year of Lincoln Benefit Life. Meanwhile, Sinatay Life has been prospering in the Chinese life and health insurance markets and EquiTrust Life, a US-based subsidiary of Magic Johnson Enterprises, recorded a strong expansion in its annuity and retirement product activity.

About Insuramore

Insuramore is a provider of marketing services and related consultancy with a primary focus on the insurance sector. Its positioning stems not only from the broad range of services that it offers and its worldwide coverage but also from its deep understanding of all types of insurance spanning life, health and P&C (non-life) insurance, whether bought by individual consumers, commercial enterprises, the public sector or not-for-profit entities, plus related services such as assistance and warranties. Insuramore’s insurance provider rankings provide original and unrivalled insights into carrier (underwriter) groups around the world. The full list of insurance types about which Insuramore can provide data, research and consulting services at an international level can be seen here.

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