Sector news: Three mutuals feature in top 10 premium ranking of world’s largest insurance companies

Thursday, 19 February 2015

The February edition of Best’s Review, the monthly insurance magazine from rating agency and ICMIF Supporting Member A.M. Best, features the annual ranking by A.M. Best of the world’s largest insurers. The ranking measured by 2013 net premiums written has three of the top ten positions being held by mutuals.

Ranked at number nine is ICMIF member the National Mutual Insurance Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives or Zenkyoren, Japan, with 2013 net premiums written of USD 59,479, 424. Zenkyoren is responsible for the JA (Japan Agricultural Cooperatives) Group’s agricultural cooperative insurance business, and provides a wide range of comprehensive life and non-life insurance through its societies (agricultural cooperatives) to enhance agricultural operations and improve the standard of living among farmers in Japan. Zenkyoren was founded in 1951 and has been an ICMIF member since 1964.

Ranked at number eight is the USA mutual State Farm with 2013 net premiums written of USD 60,384,279. State Farm was founded in 1922 and is the largest non-life insurance company in the USA in terms of premium income, and second largest in terms of admitted assets. It insures more cars and homes in the US than any other insurer (one in every five cars on the road is insured with State Farm) and offers over 100 products and services to more than 80 million policyholders.

Finally, ranked at number ten is the Kaiser Foundation Group of Health Plans, also known as Kaiser Permanente, 2013 net premiums written of USD 58,728,239. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente is a non-profit healthcare organization serving 9.1 million members in the US (with over 7 million members in California alone). It provides prepaid health plans that spread the cost of healthcare to make it more affordable for its members.

Information from ICMIF’s Mutual Market Share research shows how the mutual and cooperative sector represented 27.3% of the global insurance market in 2013, a significant growth in global market share from 23.8% in 2007. The mutual and cooperative sector wrote USD 1.26 trillion in insurance premiums in 2013 (compared to less than USD 1 trillion in 2007) and held almost USD 8 trillion in assets (2007: USD 6 trillion).

The mutual and cooperative model is the fastest-growing part of the global insurance market since 2007, with a 28% growth in premium income during this period, compared to a11% increase for the global insurance market as a whole. The social impact of mutual and cooperative insurance is also illustrated with over 1.1 million people employed by the sector across the world, and 900 million people being served as members or policyholders of mutual/cooperative insurers.

The full Global Mutual Market Share 2013 report from ICMIF, will be published shortly.