Companies in this industry underwrite life insurance and related products including annuities, long-term care, disability, and accidental death and dismemberment policies. Major companies include MetLife, New York Life, and Prudential Financial (all based in the US), as well as AEGON (the Netherlands), AXA (France), Nippon Life (Japan), and Prudential (UK).
Demand is driven by demographics and the economy. The profitability of individual companies depends on effective marketing and investment strategies and on the ability to accurately estimate future payments. Large companies take advantage of economies of scale in administration and in access to capital, as well as advertising and marketing. Small companies can compete successfully by providing specialized services to communities and organizations, such as current and former military personnel, church affiliations, and fraternal organizations. The US industry is highly concentrated: the largest 50 firms generate more than 90% of industry revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products include annuities (about 50% of industry revenue) and life insurance policies (about 30%). Other products include accident, supplemental health, and disability policies.