What is the impetus for growth? Why do some insurers emphasize growth and others do not? In his Sept. 25, 1961, address to the United Nations, President John F. Kennedy described conformity as “the enemy of growth.” This implies that those who emphasize growth are not conformists. If this is the situation, it seems reasonable to conclude that those who drive growth are forward thinking and seek to create the future rather than to conform to the status quo.
During calendar year 2008, the Top 25 property and casualty insurance companies wrote an additional $10.3 billion in direct written premium over the 12-month period ending Dec. 31, 2008, versus the period ending Dec. 31, 2007. The total direct written premium for the Top 25 was nearly $92 billion in 2008 versus $81.7 billion in 2007. Despite an economy that has been unkind to many, direct written premium for the Top 25 grew at an annual rate of nearly 13 percent.
More important to insureds, agents and claimants, Demotech’s review of the reported financial position of the Top 25 indicated that each of the Top 25 carriers had the surplus and financial strength to absorb and support their growth and relative premium level. Many of the insurance companies in the Top 25 were ultimately owned by or are part of well-known and highly respected groups. The insurer with the largest dollar volume of growth was National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh, a member of AIG. In calendar year 2008, it experienced dollar volume growth of nearly $900 million.
One carrier that did not make the Top 25 list because it didn’t meet our criteria of having at least $25 million in direct written premium in the prior period is Berkshire Hathaway Assurance Corp. This company had an exceptional 2008, growing from zero dollars in direct premium written in 2007 to $593,629,919 of premium in 2008.
In an industry that scrutinizes the growth rate of premium writings, consumers and agents are well-served by having a core group of insurance companies capable of responding to the changing insurance and coverage needs of individuals as well as corporate consumers.
Top 25 P/C Companies in Premium Growth
Based Upon Dollar Amount of Direct Premium Written (DPW) Growth; Minimum $25 Million DPW at Dec. 31, 2007; Year Ending Dec. 31, 2008 Versus Dec. 31, 2007
|DPW $ Change Rank||Company Name||DPW 12/31/2008||DPW 12/31/2007||DPW $ Change||DPW % Change|
|1||National Union Fire Insurance Co. of Pittsburgh||6,346,614,262||5,450,523,420||896,090,842||16.44%|
|2||Allstate Fire and Cas Insurance Co.||2,206,970,644||1,586,628,382||620,342,262||39.10%|
|3||Rural Community Insurance Co.||1,732,142,355||1,120,385,336||611,757,019||54.60%|
|4||Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.||3,482,787,666||2,879,017,143||603,770,523||20.97%|
|5||Travelers Home & Marine Insurance Co.||1,306,159,223||764,998,207||541,161,016||70.74%|
|6||State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Co.||28,952,521,998||28,434,556,002||517,965,996||1.82%|
|7||AIU Insurance Co.||2,770,742,249||2,262,929,283||507,812,966||22.44%|
|8||Ace Property & Casualty Insurance Co.||1,843,536,611||1,339,144,547||504,392,064||37.67%|
|9||Westport Insurance Corp.||670,017,291||174,511,502||495,505,789||283.94%|
|10||GEICO Indemnity Co.||3,334,950,300||2,859,043,536||475,906,764||16.65%|
|11||American Security Insurance Co.||1,755,789,757||1,302,103,585||453,686,172||34.84%|
|12||Assured Guaranty Corp.||584,542,064||159,202,567||425,339,497||267.17%|
|13||State Farm Fire and Casualty Co.||15,245,182,506||14,823,888,784||421,293,722||2.84%|
|14||NAU Country Insurance Co.||1,155,433,871||740,317,165||415,116,706||56.07%|
|15||Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance Co.||4,838,844,247||4,486,286,874||352,557,373||7.86%|
|16||Axis Insurance Co.||396,421,371||108,099,410||288,321,961||266.72%|
|17||Great American Insurance Co. of NY||1,486,923,371||1,201,843,361||285,080,010||23.72%|
|18||Mid-Century Insurance Co.||2,461,429,014||2,187,199,186||274,229,828||12.54%|
|19||American Zurich Insurance Co.||966,608,771||699,627,561||266,981,210||38.16%|
|20||American Agri Business Insurance Co.||638,647,273||377,810,158||260,837,115||69.04%|
|21||Firemans Fund Insurance Co.||2,556,819,682||2,319,931,267||236,888,415||10.21%|
|22||GEICO General Insurance Co.||5,035,414,894||4,810,585,920||224,828,974||4.67%|
|23||American Bankers Insurance Co. of FL||1,422,287,976||1,199,042,963||223,245,013||18.62%|
|24||Peerless Ind Insurance Co.||297,448,455||95,696,358||201,752,097||210.83%|
|25||Producers Agriculture Insurance Co.||499,889,011||304,118,269||195,770,742||64.37%|
Data Source: The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo., by permission. Information derived from a Highline Data product. The NAIC and Highline Data do not endorse any analysis or conclusion based upon the use of its data.