Key Insights On The US Insurance Sector
The United States Insurance Report considers the prospects for both life and non-life (property & casualty and health) insurers. As of late 2012, the newsflow continues to highlight the strength of both major segments – in face of substantial challenges.
In spite of a patchy economy and an interest rate environment that reduces demand for (and/or profits from) particular products, most leading life insurance companies are reporting higher sales volumes (and/or prices) for their offerings – with fixed annuities being the main exception.
The implication is that the industry continues to enjoy the trust and support of households and businesses at a time that the numbers of people who are at or near retirement age is growing. Several of the leading life insurance companies (and non-life companies) have been buying back stock.
The US treasury has been making a profitable exit from its various exposures to AIG. In what should be seen as a sign of confidence, AIG (which is one of the companies that has been buying back stock) has announced that its global non-life and US life operations will be rebranded AIG and AIG Life & Retirement respectively. Prudential Financial’s agreement to buy the individual life operations of The Hartford, in a deal, which will close in early 2013, is another landmark.
The property/casualty insurers, which are the main element of the non-life segment as BMI defines it, have also been prospering in 2012. According to the Insurance Information Institute, it is possible that the aggregate profits of the property/casualty companies for the year as a whole will exceed the highs achieved in 2010. Policyholders’ surplus suffered in 2011 as a result of the massive catastrophe losses in the US and elsewhere.
Great-West Lifeco Inc
New York Life
Sun Life Financial
Zurich Financial Services