In 2017, the United States was the leading life insurance premium writing country, with a total value of life direct premiums written amounting to 546.8 billion U.S. dollars. The second and third largest life insurance markets were the People's Republic of China and Japan, with life direct premiums written estimated at 317.57 billion U.S. dollars and 307.23 billion U.S. dollars respectively.
There were 797 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 life insurance market in Asia has rapidly grown over the past few years. In 2017, income from life insurance premiums in China reached 2.15 trillion yuan, more than double the premium income of 2012. Samsung was the largest life insurance company in South Korea in 2015.