U.S. Life/Health Sector’s Premiums Rise 2.6%; First Increase Since 2008

December 10, 2010

U.S. life/health industry’s nine-month net premiums written rose 2.6 percent to $424.2 billion, reflecting the first increase since year-end 2008, according to a new report.

In its nine-month financial review of the industry, A.M. Best & Co. reported that admitted assets advanced 4.6 percent to $5.1 trillion from year-end 2009, aided by modest increases in separate account assets.

“The U.S. life/health industry continues to recover from the economic crisis with improvement in a majority of the key financial results reviewed in the statistical study. It will be interesting to track the progress in net premiums written relative to challenges posed by (but not limited to) high unemployment, modest U.S. economic growth and continued uncertainty,” said Richard F. Kirk, senior business information analyst for A.M. Best’s Financial Suite products.

The top 25 writers (ranked by nine-month 2010 admitted assets) accounted for the following percentages of key financial results for the U.S. life/health industry: admitted assets (78.2 percent); separate account assets (88.6 percent); net premiums written (67.0 percent); after-tax net operating gain (67.8 percent); realized capital losses (72.0 percent); and capital and surplus plus the asset valuation reserve (66.9 percent).

These results are included in an in-depth study of the insurance industry’s 2010 nine-month financial results. The U.S. property/casualty industry study is expected to be released shortly.

Source: A.M. Best & Co., www.ambest.com

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