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Best's Rankings
World’s Largest Insurers — 2022 Edition: China Insurers, US Health Writers Show Gains in AM Best’s Ranking

Allianz ranked No. 1 based on 2020 net nonbanking assets while UnitedHealth Group ranked No. 1 based on 2020 net premiums written.
  • David Pilla
  • February 2022
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Two major Chinese insurers saw big gains in AM Best's top 25 list of world's largest insurers, ranked by nonbanking assets, as U.S. health insurers dominated AM Best's top list when ranked by 2020 net premiums.

Based on net premiums written, U.S.-based health insurer Centene Corp. rose to fourth place from 10th as NPW rose 49.7%. “Centene completed its acquisition of WellCare Health Plans in January 2020, which resulted in a significant increase in premiums and members year over year,” said Sally Rosen, senior director, AM Best. “This combined with membership growth were the drivers of the year-over-year growth.”

U.S.-based UnitedHealth Group Inc. retained the top spot, with $201.49 billion in NPW, a 6.2% increase. China-based Ping An stayed at No. 2, with $118.75 billion, up just 0.1%.

Other insurers with double-digit NPW increases—all U.S. health insurers—were Humana Inc., up 17.9% as it moved to No. 11 from No. 12 in the ranking; Health Care Service Corp. Group, moving to No. 19 from No. 25 as NPW rose 12.1%; and Anthem Inc. with NPW up 11.6% as it rose to No. 5 from No. 6.

In addition to rate increases, premium growth has largely been driven by membership gains in government programs such as Medicaid managed care and Medicare Advantage, said Rosen. “Medicare Advantage is driven by the growing number of individuals eligible for Medicare and selecting Medicare Advantage,” said Rosen. She said Medicaid managed care growth was driven by increases in the number of individuals eligible for Medicaid due to the economic impacts of COVID-19 combined with states not terminating Medicaid members.

“The Families First Coronavirus [Response] Act [passed in March 2020] provided additional federal funding for states for Medicaid, a joint federal/state funded program, during the period of the public health emergency,” said Rosen. “In order to receive the extra funding, states are required to retain members and not allowed to perform re-determinations of eligibility. As a result, states have added new members but did not dis-enroll existing members.”

France-based Axa S.A. decreased furthest among the top 10, falling 8.7% to seventh from third place in terms of NPW for the Paris-based international multiple-line group.

NPW declines were seen in two Japanese life insurers in 2020.

Nippon Life Insurance Co. fell to No. 18 from No. 15 and Dai-ichi Life Holdings Inc. fell to No. 22 from No. 19.

“The domestic new business sales of major Japanese life insurers, which typically involve considerable face-to-face interactions, have been under pressure mainly due to the country's state of emergency over the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Christie Lee, senior director, analytics, AM Best. “However, AM Best expects new business sales to recover gradually as insurers adopt digital initiatives and online tools to mitigate the impact of reduced face-to-face sales activity.”

Companies in this year's top 25 for NPW that were not on the list a year ago include Germany-based HDI V.a.G. at No. 21, U.S.-based Liberty Mutual Holding Co. Inc. at No. 24 and U.S.-based Progressive Corp. at No. 25.

Net Nonbanking Assets

Ranked by assets, the top 25 saw big gains from two China-based insurers. Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China Ltd. rose to fourth place from eighth as its nonbanking assets grew 16.5%. China Life Insurance (Group) Co. Ltd. advanced to No. 8 from No. 10 as nonbanking assets rose 12.2%.

Allianz SE stayed at No. 1 in assets, with $1.26 trillion, while Axa SA rose from No. 3 to No. 2.

Among companies that saw a decline in ranking position, Nippon Life Insurance Co. fell to seventh from fifth place even as nonbanking assets rose 6.9%. Japan's National Mutual Insurance Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives fell to No. 19 from No. 15 as assets rose 1.5% and Japan Post Insurance Co. Ltd. fell to No. 13 from No. 9.

“Chinese companies' big asset gains were partially driven by the appreciation of the renminbi in 2020,” said Lee. “Over the year, the renminbi appreciated by approximately 6% against the U.S. dollar.”

One company on the list that was not there last year is Canada-based Great-West Lifeco Inc. at No. 22, with a 33.1% rise in assets.

Best’s Rankings
World’s Largest Insurance Companies—2022 Edition

Ranked by 2020 net nonbanking assets.

2020
Asset
Rank
2019
Asset
Rank
AMB# Company Name Country
of Domicile
2020 Net Nonbanking
Assets
USD (000)
%
Change*
1 1 085014 Allianz SE Germany 1,261,940,234 4.90
2 3 085085 AXA S.A. France 950,598,568 2.77
3 2 058182 Prudential Financial, Inc. United States 940,722,000 4.93
4 8 086446 Ping An Ins (Group) Co of China Ltd China 883,921,884 16.49
5 4 058334 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. United States 873,729,000 6.85
6 6 058175 MetLife, Inc. United States 795,146,000 7.38
7 5 090826 Nippon Life Insurance Company Japan 776,720,328 6.88
8 10 052446 China Life Insurance (Group) Company China 776,376,157 12.15
9 7 086120 Legal & General Group Plc United Kingdom 774,781,625 1.75
10 11 066866 Manulife Financial Corporation Canada 688,785,058 8.80
11 13 085124 Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. Italy 669,121,764 5.86
12 12 085909 Aviva plc United Kingdom 651,607,417 4.31
13 9 095689 Japan Post Insurance Co., Ltd. Japan 636,812,794 -2.08
14 16 058702 American International Group, Inc. United States 586,481,000 11.70
15 14 046417 Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Inc. Japan 577,106,514 5.97
16 17 085244 Aegon N.V. Netherlands 546,475,851 0.98
17 18 086056 CNP Assurances France 543,616,259 0.49
18 19 093310 Crédit Agricole Assurances France 536,783,775 2.71
19 15 090906 National Mut Ins Fed Agricultural Coop Japan 531,654,523 1.47
20 21 085485 Life Insurance Corporation of India India 520,495,238 18.99
21 20 085925 Prudential plc United Kingdom 516,097,000 13.62
22 26 050910 Great-West Lifeco Inc. Canada 469,823,376 33.10
23 22 050457 Zurich Insurance Group Ltd Switzerland 439,299,000 8.55
24 23 090828 Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company Japan 417,243,955 7.89
25 24 061691 New York Life Insurance Company United States 414,250,000 11.46

* Percent change is based upon local currency.

Source: BestLink logo Best’s Financial Suite - Global; data as of Dec. 13, 2021.

Best’s Rankings
World’s Largest Insurance Companies—2022 Edition

Ranked by 2020 net premiums written.

2020
Premium
Rank
2019
Premum
Rank
AMB# Company Name Country
of Domicile
2020 Net
Premiums
Written
USD (000)
%
Change*
1 1 058106 UnitedHealth Group Incorporated 1 United States 201,478,000 6.21
2 2 086446 Ping An Ins (Group) Co of China Ltd China 118,754,056 0.14
3 4 052446 China Life Insurance (Group) Company China 111,156,155 6.20
4 10 051149 Centene Corporation 1 United States 107,370,000 49.72
5 6 058180 Anthem, Inc. United States 105,726,000 11.61
6 5 070936 Kaiser Foundation Group of Health Plans 2 United States 102,933,365 5.85
7 3 085085 AXA S.A. France 101,308,605 -8.68
8 7 085014 Allianz SE Germany 93,645,846 -1.47
9 8 085320 People's Ins Co (Group) of China Ltd China 79,573,492 -0.14
10 9 085124 Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. Italy 79,193,720 -2.74
11 12 058052 Humana Inc. 1 United States 74,186,000 17.85
12 11 020013 State Farm Group 2 United States 71,116,271 0.19
13 13 058334 Berkshire Hathaway Inc. United States 64,901,000 3.33
14 14 086577 Munich Reinsurance Company Germany 64,294,456 7.24
15 16 070080 CVS Health Corp Group United States 56,701,017 8.99
16 17 085485 Life Insurance Corporation of India India 55,008,395 6.27
17 18 090598 China Pacific Insurance (Group) Co Ltd China 51,701,496 3.74
18 15 090826 Nippon Life Insurance Company Japan 46,283,351 -9.22
19 25 069154 Health Care Service Corporation Group United States 44,910,745 12.13
20 21 090906 National Mut Ins Fed Agricultural Coop Japan 44,140,813 5.95
21 29 085068 HDI V.a.G. Germany 43,481,675 3.87
22 19 046417 Dai-ichi Life Holdings, Inc. Japan 42,927,009 -3.17
23 22 058175 MetLife, Inc. United States 42,034,000 -0.48
24 26 051114 Liberty Mutual Holding Company Inc. United States 40,624,000 2.03
25 30 058454 Progressive Corporation United States 40,568,700 7.96

* Percent change is based upon local currency.

1 Premiums shown are earned premiums.

2 AM Best consolidation; U.S. companies only.

Source: BestLink logo Best’s Financial Suite - Global; data as of Dec. 13, 2021.


David Pilla is news editor. He can be reached at david.pilla@ambest.com.



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