California’s a $1.9 trillion economy gets a multi-billion dollar boost from the property/casualty insurance industry, according to a report from the Insurance Information Institute issued Tuesday.
In 2009, insurers contributed $34.7 billion to California’s gross state product, accounting for about 2 percent of the state’s GSP, according to the report.
The report found that:
• California employs more insurance professionals than any other state, with property-casualty insurers providing 287,270 California jobs in 2009. California insurance jobs accounted for about $20 billion in compensation.
• In 2010, property and casualty insurance claims payments totaled $29.4 billion in California, while life insurance claims and benefits payouts in California totaled almost $38.9 billion.
• California collected $2.2 billion in premium taxes from insurers in 2010, 64 percent higher than the next leading state.
• Californians insure substantially more cars – roughly 24 million in all – than drivers in any other state.
According to the report, direct premiums written by property/casualty insurance companies in California totaled $55 billion in 2010.
But claims payments is where the insurance industry may have the most profound impact on the state’s economy, according to the report.
In 2010 claims payments in California, as measured by direct property/casualty incurred losses, were nearly $29.4 billion.
Aside from earthquake payouts, most of which occurred in California, seven of the nation’s 10 largest wildfires were in California, the largest of which was the Oakland fire in 1991, which caused $2.5 billion in insured damages in 2010 dollars.
Leading writers of property/casualty insurance in California by direct premiums written in 2010 and market share are as follows:
Zurich Financial Services Ltd. ($6,502,324) (11.8%)
State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance ($4,842,540) (8.8)
Allstate Corp. ($2,713,090) (4.9%)
Liberty Mutual ($2,695,515) ($4.9)
American International Group ($2,453,583) (4.5%)
Travelers Companies Inc. ($2,227,734) (4.1%)
Auto Club Exchange Group ($2,023,492) (3.7%)
AAA Northern CA NV & Utah Insurance ($1,923,243) (3.5%)
Mercury General Corp. ($1,916,488) (3.5%)
Nationwide Mutual Group ($1,696,840) (3.1%)
Before reinsurance transactions.
Source: SNL Financial LC.