Top 10 Insurance Companies by the Metrics
There are several ways to rank the size of insurance companies. Companies can be measured using their market capitalization (the company’s value on the stock exchange) or sales statistics, such as net premiums written in a year or how many policies were sold. Here, we examine the top 10 largest insurance companies by market cap, market share, and revenue.
Insurance companies are important players in the global financial economy, although they may not be as flashy as investment banks or hedge funds.
Insurance companies come in many sizes and specialize in different policy lines, from health to life to property & casualty.
Market capitalization, or market cap, is the value of a company’s outstanding shares.
Some insurance companies are mutually owned, in which the policyholders are the owners.
When ranking insurance companies, it’s important to categorize them according to their product line.
Largest insurance company by market capitalization
Market capitalization, or market cap, is the total value of a company’s stock and is calculated by multiplying the number of shares outstanding by the current share price. It is a quick way to determine the value of a company in the eyes of investors.
Companies with large market caps are usually founded on conservative investments. They are likely to experience steady growth and offer the least amount of risk. Mid-cap companies are also established but have high growth potential. Finally, small-cap companies are often new companies with high growth potential. Investing in these companies poses the greatest risk as they are more vulnerable to economic downturns than more established large and mid-cap companies.
Investors can buy shares of publicly-traded companies in the insurance industry. The largest non-health insurance companies by market capitalization on world stock exchanges in the first quarter of 2022 are:
Publicly Traded Non-health Insurance Companies
|Company Name||Market Capitalization|
|Berkshire Hathaway (U.S.)||$714 billion|
|Ping An Insurance (China)||$141 billion|
|AIA Group (Hong Kong)||$123 billion|
|China Life Insurance (China)||$106 billion|
|Allianz (Germany)||$89 billion|
|Cigna (US)||$76 billion|
|Zurich Insurance (Switzerland)||$67 billion|
|AXA (France)||$65 billion|
|Humana (U.S.)||$55 billion|
|Munich (Germany)||$39 billion|
Publicly Traded Health Insurance and Managed Health Care Companies
|Company Name||Market Capitalization|
|United Healthcare (UNH)||$448 billion|
|CVS (CVS)||$136 billion|
|Anthem (ANTM)||$109 billion|
|Cigna (CI)||$76 billion|
|Humana (HUM)||$55 billion|
|Centene Corporation (CNC)||$48 billion|
|Molina Healthcare (MOH)||$18 billion|
|Bright Health Group (BHG)||$2 billion|
|MultiPlan Corporation (MPLN)||$2 billion|
|Alignment Healthcare (ALHC)||$1.6 billion|
American Family Insurance is the largest mutual insurance company in the United States
Largest insurance company by sales and product line
Differentiating between types or lines of insurance is useful when considering the best insurance companies. Using sales data is helpful because some of the largest insurance companies in the United States are not publicly traded and therefore their market value cannot be easily ascertained.
Property and Casualty
Property and casualty insurers write policies covering property such as real estate, residences, cars, and other vehicles. They also write liability policies that cover lawsuits related to these properties due to accidents or negligence or medical damages resulting from such incidents.
The top U.S. property and casualty companies written in 2020 by net premiums (non-life policies can expect to earn over the term of the contract, fewer commissions, and expenses) are:
|Company||Net Premiums Written|
|State Farm Group||$66.2 billion|
|Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A)||$46.4 billion|
|Progressive Insurance Group (PGR)||$41.7 billion|
|Allstate Insurance Group (ALL)||$39.2 billion|
|Liberty Mutual||$36.2 billion|
|Travelers Group (TRV)||$28.8 billion|
|USAA Group||$24.6 billion|
|Chubb (CB)||$24.2 billion|
|Farmers Insurance Group||$20.1 billion|
Life insurance company
Life insurance companies promise to pay a lump sum benefit after the death of the insured. While actuarial science has developed mortality tables to accurately estimate future liability payments for policies, having financial strength ensures that these companies can meet all their obligations while still earning a profit.
Life insurance companies in the United States can be ranked by direct written premiums (the number of new policies written directly and not reinsured). For 2020:
|Company||Total Direct Premium||Market Share|
|New York Life Grp||$11.7 billion||6.75%|
|Northwestern Mutual||$11.3 billion||6.52%|
|Metropolitan Group (MET)||$10.5 billion||6.05%|
|Prudential of America (PRU)||$10.1 billion||5.80%|
|Lincoln National||$8.4 billion||4.83%|
|State Farm||$5.0 billion||2.87%|
|Aegon (AEG)||$4.9 billion||2.80%|
|John Hancock||$4.7 billion||2.73%|
|Minnesota Mutual Grp||$4.7 billion||2.70%|
Health insurance companies
Health insurance companies offer policies to cover all or part of the policyholder’s health and medical expenses. Policies can be purchased individually or through an employer. Technically, the United States government is America’s largest health insurance provider with the Medicare program, Social Security, and Medicaid administered by individual states.
Based on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) 2020 report, the largest privately sponsored U.S. health insurance companies as measured by total premiums collected are:
|Company||Total Direct Premium||Market Share|
|UnitedHealth Group (UNH)||$177 billion||14.1%|
|Centene Corp.||$75 billion||6.0%|
|CVS Healthcare (CVS)||$69 billion||5.5%|
|CIGNA Health||$32 billion||2.5%|
|Molina Healthcare||$21 billion||1.7%|
|Independence Health||$21 billion||1.6%|
What do the CEOs of the largest health insurance companies do?
The following CEOs of the 6 largest health insurance companies earn more than $15 million annually:
Centene’s Michael Niedorf earned $26.4 million
Signor David Cordani earned $19.1 million
UnitedHealth Group’s David Wichman earned $18.9 million
Molina Healthcare’s Joseph Zubretsky earned $18 million
Bruce Broussard of Human earned $16.7 million
Anthem’s Gail Boudreaux earned $15.5 million
Do large insurance companies make better investments?
Investing in insurance companies can be a safer option for some investors. Insurance companies are established to deal with risk, which can ultimately reduce the risk associated with their investments. Health insurance, subject to rapid change, has significant growth potential compared to other types of insurance companies.
Who are the biggest investors in insurance companies?
The largest investors in insurance companies are usually other institutions. For example, UnitedHealth Group (UNH) has 4,124 institutional owners, who own more than a billion shares.
What are the largest homeowners insurance companies in the United States?
The five largest homeowners insurance companies in the United States are State Farm, Allstate, USAA, Liberty Mutual, and Farmers.
Together, these companies hold more than 45% share of the homeowner’s insurance market.
What is Canada’s largest insurance company?
Canada’s five largest insurance companies are Manulife Financial Corporation, Great-West Lifeco, Desjardins, Sun Life Financial, and Fairfax Financial.
Manulife is Canada’s largest insurance company, employing more than 35,000 employees and serving more than 30 million customers.
Ranking the largest insurance companies can be done in several ways. Shares of publicly traded companies can be purchased to help build a well-diversified investment portfolio that has exposure to the financial and healthcare sectors. Identifying which companies primarily deal in what type of insurance helps determine which firms are competitors and which are not. By looking at sales figures, or premiums collected in a year, one can also see how public companies stack up against the privately held or mutual firms that make up a large portion of the industry.
Investopedia does not provide investment or financial advice. The information is presented without regard to the investment objectives, risk tolerance, or financial situation of any particular investor and may not be suitable for all investors. Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investments involve risk, including the potential loss of capital.
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