Largest U.S. life insurance companies 2018, by net life insurance premiums

In 2018, the Milwaukee-based financial services company Northwestern Mutual collected more in life insurance policy premiums than any other U.S. provider, with a total of 13.53 billion U.S. dollars in premiums being written.

Life insurance

Life insurance is a policy whereby the insurer agrees to pay a nominated beneficiary an amount of money in the event of the policy holder’s premature death. In 2017, around 28 million life insurance policies were purchased in the United States, making it the largest market globally. However, in terms of market penetration, the U.S. is far behind wealthy East Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea, whose penetration rates are almost two and a half times higher.

The global life insurance market

Given the high penetration rate of life insurance in East Asia, it is perhaps not surprising that many of the largest global life insurance providers are based in the region. However, with the exception of China, the U.S. and East Asian markets are very mature, with low-to-negative profit growth and generally stagnant premium prices in recent years. Conversely, over this time the developing markets of China and Latin America have seen significant growth in both areas.

Largest life insurance companies in the United States in 2018, by total net life insurance premiums

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Release date

October 2019


United States

Survey time period


Special properties

end of year data, net of reinsurance.

Supplementary notes

Figures have been rounded.

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Statistics on "Life insurance in the United States"

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