Next to the banking industry, insurance industry plays very important roles not only for individual customers but for enterprises as well. These financial institutions offer many services from life insurance, health insurance, property insurance, car insurance, and many more.
Many large insurance companies continue to grow because of the need to safeguard businesses, protect families and ensure the good health of family members. With these growing demands, the best insurance companies in the world continue to upgrade their services by using modern technology such as web and smartphone apps, and by forming alliances with leading global as well as local financial institutions.
Here is the list of the top 10 insurance companies in the world 2017 based on total revenue and net income (profit).
1. Berkshire Hathaway
An American multinational conglomerate holding company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska, United States.
The company wholly owns GEICO, Long & Foster, BNSF Railway, Lubrizol, Fruit of the Loom, Helzberg Diamonds, FlightSafety International, Pampered Chef, and NetJets, and also owns 26.7% of the Kraft Heinz Company, and significant minority holdings in American Express (17.15%), The Coca-Cola Company (9.4%), Wells Fargo (9.9%), IBM (6.9%) and Apple (2.5%).
Aside from these major companies, Berkshire Hathaway also owns large holdings in major US airline carriers and is currently the largest shareholder in United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, and a top 3 shareholder in Southwest Airlines and American Airlines.
The company has averaged an annual growth in book value of 19.0% to its shareholders since 1965 with large amount of capital and minimal debt.
Forbes Global 2000 list and formula names Berkshire Hathaway as the 4th largest public company in the world, and the 9th largest conglomerate by revenue.
Currently, it is the 7th largest company in the S&P 500 Index by market capitalization and is known for having the most expensive share price in history with a Class A share which costs more than $250,000 each share which has never been split.
2. United Health Insurance
UnitedHealth Group Inc. is an American managed health care company with headquarters in Minnetonka, Minnesota, U.S.A. Fortune 500 listing puts it as 6th in the United States. UnitedHealth Group products and services are operated through its subsidiaries, UnitedHealthcare and Optum. Optum is the healthcare service arm of UnitedHealth Group and the largest healthcare IT company in the world with a revenue of $84 billion in 2016. By 2016, Optum and UnitedHealthcare serve approximately 115 million individuals and the company reported an operating income of $13 billion on that year.
Allianz SE is a German financial services company whose headquarters is located in Munich, Germany. Its core businesses are concentrated on insurance and asset management. In 2014, Forbes magazine listed it as the world’s largest insurance company and the largest financial services group when measured by its 2013 revenue. The company is a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index.
Its division, Allianz Global Investors, is a top-five global active investment manager, with assets under management (AuM) of €1,933 billion. As of 2015, €1,408 billion are third-party assets with specialized asset managers including PIMCO (bonds), RCM (equities) and Degi (real estates).
In November 2008, Allianz sold Dresdner Bank to Commerzbank in November 2008 therefore gained 14% controlling stake in the new Commerzbank.
This French multinational insurance firm with headquarters in the 8th arrondissement of Paris engages in global insurance, investment management, and other financial services. A conglomerate of independently run business, AXA Group operates under the laws and regulations of many different countries. It became the 2nd largest most powerful transnational corporation in terms of ownership and thus corporate control over global financial stability and market competition with Barclays and State Street Corporation taking the 1st and 3rd position, respectively.
By 2016, AXA became the first worldwide insurance brand for the 8th consecutive year, and joined the top 3 global financial services brands in 2016. The group operates mainly in Western Europe, North America, the Asia Pacific region, and the Middle East, with presence also in Africa. The company is a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index.
5. Ping AN Insurance
Founded in 1988, Ping An Insurance, also known as Ping An of China with its full name: Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. is a holding company. Its subsidiaries deal mainly with insurance, banking and financial services. The company has headquarters located in Shenzhen, China. Ping An literally means “safe and well”.
Ping An Insurance is one of the top 50 companies listed in the Shanghai Stock Exchange and is also a component of Hang Seng Index, an index of the top 50 companies in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. It was also included in the pan-China stock indices CSI 300 Index, FTSE China A50 Index and Hang Seng China 50 Index.
It is the world’s most valuable insurance brand worth USD 16 billion.
Generali Group is the largest insurance company in Italy and third in the world. With headquarters in Trieste, Assicurazioni Generali Group became the second largest insurance group in the world by revenue after AXA in 2010.
Founded on December 26, 1831 under the name of Imperial Regia Privilegiata Compagnia di Assicurazioni Generali Austro-Italiche, the company grew in importance, becoming one of the largest insurance operators both in Italy and in Central Europe. By 2017, the company rose to the ranks 57th on the Fortune Global 500 list of companies and 43rd on MITs worldwide “Smartest Companies” 2015 ranking.
7. Japan Post Holdings
Japan Post Holdings Co., Ltd. is a Japanese state-owned conglomerate headquartered in Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda, Tokyo. Mainly engaged in postal and logistics business, financial window business, banking business and life insurance business, the company also offers letters and goods transportation services, stamp sales, deposit loans, and insurance products.
Japan Post Insurance Co., Ltd. is a Japanese life insurer that was established on October 1, 2007, with the privatization of Japanese Kampo Life Insurance. As of 2011 it was the world’s fourth largest insurance company as regards net premiums written behind three European insurers and the largest as regards non-banking assets.
8. Nippon Life Insurance
Founded in 1889 as the Nippon Life Assurance Co., Inc. Nippon Life Insurance Company, also known as Nissay or Nihon Seimei is the largest Japanese life insurance company by revenue. In structure it is a mutual company. It first paid its policy holders dividends in 1898.
Nippon Life employs more than 70,000 employees and has $70,608 billion yen in assets as of 2016. The company is headquartered in Imabashi Sanchōme, Chūō-ku, Osaka, Japan.
9. Metlife Insurance
Founded on March 24, 1868, MetLife, Inc. is the holding corporation for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MLIC), better known as MetLife, and its affiliates. It is among the largest global providers of insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programs, with 90 million customers in over 60 countries. Its principal offices are located at 200 Park Avenue, New York City in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, however some executive offices and its boardroom remained in the MetLife Building, located at 200 Park Avenue, New York City, which it sold in 2005.
Metlife completed its mutualization process on January 6, 1915, changing from a stock life insurance company owned by individuals to a mutual company operating without external shareholders and for the benefit of its policyholders and in 2000, the company went public.
The company holds leading market positions in the USA, Japan, Latin America, Asia Pacific region, Europe and the Middle East through its subsidiaries and affiliates. Metlife serves 90 of the largest Fortune 500 companies.
In January 2016, the company announced a spin-off of its U.S. Retail business, including individual life insurance and annuities for the retail market, in a separate company called Brighthouse Financial. They maintained the MetLife name on MetLife Stadium.
On March 6, 2017, the separated U.S. Retail business launched Brighthouse Financial – an independent company focused on life insurance and annuities.
10. ING Group
The ING Group is a Dutch multinational banking and financial services corporation headquartered in Amsterdam. Its primary businesses are in retail banking, direct banking, commercial banking, investment banking, asset management and insurance services.
ING is an abbreviation for Internationale Nederlanden Groep (English: International Netherlands Group), with its orange lion logo alluding to the Group’s Dutch origins under the House of Orange – Nassau.
ING is the Dutch member of the Inter-Alpha Group of Banks, a cooperative consortium of 11 prominent European banks.ING Bank was included in a list of global systemically important banks in 2012.
In 2012, Fortune Global 500 listed INC as the world’s largest banking/financial services and insurance conglomerate by revenue with gross receipts exceeding $150 billion per annum. Overall, it was the 18th largest corporation by revenue.
As of 2013, INC has over 48 million individual and institutional clients in more than 40 countries, and employs over 75,000 employees worldwide. The company is a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index.
- Nippon Life Insurance
Nippon Life Insurance Company, also known as Nissay or Nihon Seimei is the largest Japanese life insurance company by revenue. The company was founded in 1889 as the Nippon Life Assurance Co., Inc. In structure it is a mutual company.
Nippon Life Insurance Company (日本生命保険相互会社 Nihon Seimei Hoken Sōgo-gaisha), also known as Nissay (ニッセイ Nissei) or Nihon Seimei (日本生命) is the largest Japanese life insurance company by revenue. The company was founded in 1889 as the Nippon Life Assurance Co., Inc. In structure it is a mutual company. It first paid policyholder dividends in 1898.