In 2015, the United States was the leading life insurance premium writing country, with a total value of life direct premiums written amounting to 552.51 billion U.S. dollars. The second and third largest life insurance markets were Japan and the People's Republic of China, with life direct premiums written estimated at 343.82 billion U.S. dollars and 210.76 billion U.S. dollars respectively.
There were 598 life insurance companies in the United States in 2016, most of them categorized as “stock life insurance companies”, based on their organizational structure. In 2016, Metlife was the largest life insurance company in the country, by market capitalization. The New York-based company also was the American insurer with most life insurance policies issued - approximately 196.65 billion U.S. dollars worth of policies in 2016 alone.
The main reason for purchasing life insurance in the United States as of 2017 was to help covering burial and other final expenses. Among the main reasons for not buying more life insurance were high costs of such a policy and having other financial priorities then.