U.S. insurance industry net premiums written totaled $1.2 trillion in 2017, with premiums recorded by life/health (L/H) insurers accounting for 52%, and premiums by property/casualty (P/C) insurers accounting for 48%, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.
P/C insurance consists primarily of auto, home, and commercial insurance. Net premiums written for the sector totaled $558.2 billion in 2017.
Health insurance is considered separately. This sector includes private health insurance companies as well as government programs. P/C and L/H insurers also write some health insurance.
There were 5,977 insurance companies in 2016 in the United States (including territories), including P/C (2,538), life/annuities (872), health (858), fraternal (85), title (55), risk retention groups (247) and other companies (1,314), according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
Insurance carriers and related activities contributed $507.7 billion, or 2.7%, of U.S. gross domestic product in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The U.S. insurance industry employed 2.6 million people in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Of those, 1.5 million worked for insurance companies, including L/H insurers (811,900 workers), P/C insurers (648,200 workers) and reinsurers (25,000 workers). The remaining 1.1 million people worked for insurance agencies, brokers, and other insurance-related enterprises.
Total P/C cash and invested assets were $1.59 trillion in 2016, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. L/H cash and invested assets totaled $3.89 trillion in 2016. The total of cash and invested assets for both sectors was $5.48 trillion. The majority of these assets were in bonds (61% of P/C assets and 74% of L/H assets).
P/C and L/H insurance companies paid $20.5 billion in premium taxes in 2016, or $63 for every person living in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
P/C insurers paid out $21.7 billion in property losses related to catastrophes in 2016, compared with $15.2 billion in 2015, according to the Property Claims Services division of Verisk Analytics. There were 42 catastrophes in 2016, compared with 39 in 2015.