There are many companies selling life insurance policies, but not all of them are right for you. Some have prices which are just out of your reach; some have few agents and it is difficult to get information about your policy. Of course you want many policy options and good service; however, the most important thing you might need in a life insurance company is stability.
You are probably going to own your life insurance policy for a long time. This means you want a company which will be around for as long as you hold your policy, and financially solvent when you die and your beneficiaries try to cash in. It does you no good to spend years paying on a policy if the life insurance company is not solvent when the time comes to pay your policy.
Who are the best life insurance companies?
How can you possibly know so far in advance how well your life insurance company will be doing financially? There are no guarantees, of course, but one good indicator of how profitable a company will be in the future is to look at its past performance. Companies which have been around for a long time, and have remained solvent throughout that time, are more likely to be good bets for solvency in the future. On the other hand, new, “fly-by-night” companies may offer great rates and lots of perks, but do not have a proven track record, and may disappear as quickly as they appeared.
Looking at financial records can be daunting. One easy way to get a quick snapshot of how well a particular company is doing is to look at its market share. It is no accident that the top companies gain the most customers, so a large market share is a good indicator that the company is well-grounded and will likely remain so. The top ten life insurance companies, by market share, are listed below. This information comes from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and is current for the year 2010. The numbers listed are percentages of market share, which means the amount of business the company does out of the total of life insurance products sold.
MetLife Insurance – 7.76% Market Share
With over $11 billion in premiums, Metropolitan captures the number one spot on the list with the highest sales of any company. MetLife serves over 90 million customers in 60 countries, with headquarters in New York City.
American International (AIG) – 6.54% Market Share
Selling almost $9.5 billion worth of life insurance in 2010, American International is better known as “AIG.” AIG has its roots in international business; the company began in Shanghai, China. Today, AIG’s headquarters are located in New York City.
Northwestern Mutual Group – 5.92% Market Share
With over $8.5 billion in sales for 2010, Northwestern is the third most productive life insurance company in the United States. The company offers both life and health insurance, and is based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Northwestern employs over 5,000 people in its various offices around the United States.
New York Life Group – 5.70% Market Share
New York Life, based in New York City, was founded in 1845. New York Life is the largest life insurance company operating solely in the United States. In 2010, the company had sales in excess of $8.2 billion.
Prudential Life Insurance – 4.82% Market Share
Prudential is a financial investment and insurance firm and a Fortune 500 company. The company is headquartered in Newark, New Jersey, and employs over 39,000 people worldwide, with offices in Asia, Europe, and Latin America.
Lincoln National – 3.89% Market Share
With $5.6 billion in sales for 2010, Lincoln National is the sixth largest life insurance provider in the United States. The company is located in Radnor, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia.
John Hancock Group – 3.55% Market Share
$5.1 billion in 2010 sales brought John Hancock the seventh-place position in this list. John Hancock was founded in 1862 and is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts. John Hancock is a subsidiary of the larger Manulife Financial Corporation.
Aegon US Holding Group – 3.09% Market Share
Aegon is an international company with headquarters in The Hague, Netherlands. The company came into existence through mergers in 1983.
Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance – 2.56% Market Share
Mass Mutual is headquartered in Springfield, Massachusetts, and was founded in 1851. Currently selling $3.69 billion in policies, Mass Mutual has consistently paid dividends to shareholders every year since the 1860s.
State Farm – 2.48% Market Share
State Farm sold over $3.57 billion worth of life insurance in 2010, in addition to homeowners and automobile policies. The tenth largest American life insurer, State Farm is also the largest car insurer in the United States.
Start a life insurance comparison search today and find local life insurance companies to discuss your life insurance needs. Premiums vary from one company to the next and the only way to find the best life insurance company for you is to compare multiple providers.