MetLife Inc. is the biggest life insurance company in the United States, as it has written over $11 billion worth of premiums in the domestic market alone, in recent years. This is roughly 8% of the market share, not to mention the over $1 billion that they have written outside of the domestic market. MetLife is a bit different to many of the other life insurance companies because it has stretched its wings internationally, with a substantial amount of market share. The combined revenue in 2014 was $73.3 billion. The company offers a huge and diverse portfolio of products including annuities, life insurance, accident insurance, and even asset management services. Its total market capitalization is roughly $60 billion.
New York Life
The second largest life insurance company in the United States is New York Life Insurance Company, which has written over $8 billion in domestic life insurance premiums over the last several years. New York Life accounts for roughly 6% of the market share. New York Life also sells long-term care insurance, mutual funds, annuities, and is operating an investment management business as well.
Prudential Financial Inc. is the fourth largest insurance company in the United States, offering insurance products, annuities, mutual funds, investment management services, and many other products. It operates in 43 countries around the world. Prudential writes over $7 billion worth of insurance premiums per year in the United States, which is good for roughly 5% of the marketplace. It has a market capitalization of roughly $40 billion.
While you may not have heard of Lincoln National Corporation, it is a financial service that offers many life insurance products, long-term care insurance products, annuities, and even retirement plan services to 17 million Americans. It doesn’t operate outside of the United States, but it does have a reported $6 billion plus in written premiums yearly.
MassMutual, or the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, is the sixth biggest life insurer in the United States with a reported $6 billion in direct life insurance premiums written annually, making it worth about 4% of the market. They also offer annuities, long-term care, and disability income insurance as well as wealth management services.
John Hancock Financial is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canadian insurance giant Manulife Financial, as of 2004. Life insurance policies, long-term care insurance policies, mutual funds, and retirement and college savings plans are offered by John Hancock. It wrote $4.5 billion worth of insurance premiums over the last several years, making it worth about 3.5% of the market.
And So Many Others…
When shopping around for life insurance, there are couple of things that you should be paying attention to. Number one would be the rates that you pay, and of course, any type of clause in the contract that can negate the terms of the contract. That is, there are some basics, such as death while committing a felony, which can negate a life policy; which of course makes complete sense. However, make sure that these terms are reasonable, and then compare the rates. Rates will vary from company to company, so shopping around can certainly save you money.
Beyond this, you should make sure that the company has plenty of financial capitalization, because the last thing you want is to worry about whether your policy will be paid. When you stick with the larger companies though, they typically won’t flinch at a $1 million life insurance policy. Obviously, each person’s situation is going to be a bit different, but when you sign up for a life insurance policy, you should make sure that it is something that is sensible for you and your family’s situation. Your loved ones will be dealing with enough when it comes to the process of losing a family member, without worrying about fighting for money. That’s essentially what this is, an opportunity to provide for them after you are gone.
Do your research, and by all means don’t settle on the first life insurance offer. Make sure that there aren’t any loopholes in the contract that could come back to cause your beneficiaries troubles down the road. Keep in mind that there are a variety of factors that can affect what your premium will be, not the least of which will be your health. Smokers pay more than non-smokers, just as somebody with diabetes would pay much more than somebody who doesn’t have diabetes, as you would expect. It comes down to a measured risk on the part of the insurance company. The higher risk you are, the more expensive it is to be covered.