Property & casualty insurance in the United States - Statistics & Facts

Property and casualty insurance is a type of insurance which covers risks related to loss or damage of property. This type of insurance has two major areas: protection of physical objects and protection against legal liability. The first area offers protection for physical objects, such as houses, cars or valuable personal belongings. Protection against legal liability covers damage caused to someone else’s property. Property insurance is referred as “first-party” coverage, considering that it is related to the policyholder’s property, while casualty insurance can be defined as “third-party” coverage.

In the United States, State Farm Insurance was the largest property and casualty insurance company in terms of revenues in 2015. It also topped the list of leading P/C insurers with regards to the value of direct premiums written. In total, the value of gross premiums written by the U.S. property and casualty insurance sector amounted to approximately 591.76 billion U.S. dollars in 2015. In 2015, 37.1 percent of the U.S. P&C premiums were written by private passenger auto insurance companies.

One of the measures of profitability used by insurance companies is combined ratio, which is the sum of incurred losses and expenses divided by earned premiums. In order to be profitable, the companies need to keep this ratio below 100 percent. Ratio higher than 100 percent means that the companies pay out more money to their customers than they receive from premiums. In 2013, the combined ratio of private passenger auto insurance in the U.S. was equal to 101.6 percent.

Another indicator of the financial health of an insurance company is the policyholder surplus. It is the difference between the assets and liabilities of the insurers. The policyholder surplus of the U.S. property and casualty insurance sector amounted to 674.4 billion U.S. dollars in 2014.

The U.S. property and casualty sector employed about 600 thousand people in 2015.

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