Best's Review


From the Editor’s Desk
Mutual Snapshot: Select Life, P/C Insurers Post Double-Digit Growth

The September issue includes rankings of the largest life and P/C mutuals, a ranking of the top U.S. private flood insurers, top global reinsurers and leading U.S. life/health writers. Asset management is also a focus.
  • Patricia Vowinkel
  • September 2022

Mutual insurers represent a significant segment of the insurance industry, providing coverage for many millions of policyholders and yet they tend to fly under the industry radar.

Mutual life insurers, for instance, had total admitted assets of $2.1 trillion in 2021 compared with $8.7 trillion for the entire life/health industry, or nearly 25% of the industry's total admitted assets, according to AM Best data.

While stock companies report quarterly earnings and their senior executives hold conference calls with investors on a regular basis, most mutuals tend to keep a low profile. A few big mutual insurers remain household names but many of the most prominent insurers converted to stock companies in the demutualization craze 20 years ago.

In the September issue, Best's Review turns its attention to the “old sleeping giants”—the under-covered mutual insurance segment and those insurers that posted strong growth in 2021.

In “US Mutuals Find Stability Key Amid Turbulence Following a Good 2021,” Best's Review spoke with the CFO at Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. about the company's growth and examined the performance of some of the other life mutual insurers with strong growth. Penn Mutual had its best sales year ever, posting 12.8% growth in total admitted assets to $37.7 billion and moving up one notch in the Top 25 US Mutual Life/Health rankings to No. 12.

In “Expansion Spurs Growth for US P/C Mutuals Moving Up the Charts,” Best's Review spoke with Acuity CEO Ben Salzmann, Sentry CEO Pete McPartland and West Bend CEO Kevin Steiner about the growth at their companies.

“We were willing to spend significantly [to upgrade all technology and analytics systems]. We are ahead of the industry by a wide margin in terms of having replaced all of our legacy systems. Having replenished all of our technology has been a real boon to us,” said Sentry's McPartland.

The September issue also includes a ranking of the top U.S. private flood insurers and the top 50 global reinsurers.

Some of the biggest movers in the ranking of flood insurers included Sompo Holdings with 2021 direct premiums written up 999.9% to No. 12 from No. 39, Munich-American Holdings up 196.8% to No. 14 from No. 16 and Trisura US Insurance Group, up 110.5% to No. 17 from No. 20.

The ranking is included in the article “Republican Senators Offer One-Year NFIP Extension Bill.” The NFIP is currently authorized through Sept. 30.

The ranking of the top global reinsurers, meanwhile, showed Munich Re and Swiss Re returning to the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, respectively.

With interest rates marching higher, asset management is once again a key concern for insurers. In “Private Placements Likely to Remain in US Insurers' Portfolios Despite Rising Rates,” AM Best examines the outlook for private placement investments. Best's Review spoke with experts from Conning, Income Research + Management and AM Best.

Patricia Vowinkel, Executive Editor,

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