|Title:||United States top 10 insurance companies by in-force group life insurance premiums in dollars and percent change for 2010, and ranking for 2009|
Start of full article - but without data
Ranked by 2010 group life business in force.
2010 2009 Group Life % Rank Rank Company/Group AMB# In Force Change
X X Metropolitan Life & XXXXXX $X,XXX,XXX,XXX -X.X Affiliated Cos X X Prudential of America XXXXXX X,XXX,XXX,XXX XX.X Group X X Great-West Life Group XXXXXX X,XXX,XXX,XXX XX.X X X Hartford Life Group XXXXXX XXX,XXX,XXX X.X X X Securian Finl Group XXXXXX XXX,XXX,XXX XX.X X X Unum Ins Group XXXXXX XXX,XXX,XXX X.X X X Aetna Life Group XXXXXX XXX,XXX,XXX X.X X X Cigna Group XXXXXX XXX,XXX,XXX -X.X X X ING USA Life Group XXXXXX XXX,XXX,XXX XX.X XX XX NY Life Group XXXXXX XXX,XXX,XXX XX.X
Source: Best Link [R] Statement File - L/H, US
MetLife Inc.'s $XX.X billion acquisition of American International Group Inc.'s American Life Insurance Co. last year expands its international presence, especially in Japan, where it's now a top-three player in the supplemental health insurance market.
Based on annualized premium, MetLife Alico says it's No. X in Japan for accident and supplemental health insurance.
From April 2010 through March 2011, annualized premium for these lines amounted to XX billion yen (US$XXX.X million).
Japan's government is cutting back on what it provides to citizens via the country's taxpayer-funded, government-provided health care, said William Toppeta, president of MetLife's international business. The Japanese receive fewer government benefits but also can afford to pay premiums to buy supplemental health protection, Toppeta said.
MetLife Alico's two largest supplemental health products are "hospital cash" and dread disease, which is similar to critical illness insurance in the United States.
In Japan, Aflac Inc., another U.S.-based insurer, touts itself as the No. X life insurer in terms of individual policies in-force, which includes cancer insurance.
While the policies that Aflac and MetLife Alico sell are considered to be life insurance, these supplemental health policies are, on a regulatory basis, considered neither pure life insurance nor property/casualty, according to Steven Schwartz, an equity analyst with Raymond James in Chicago.
This so-called third sector opened in 1974. Alico Japan started participating in 1976, MetLife said. The market was opened to all life and nonlife insurers in Japan in 2001.
Dread disease provides coverage when policyholders are diagnosed for certain major health conditions such as cancer.
This coverage pays money directly to policyholders once diagnosed and they can use it for anything they wish, Toppeta said.
Cancer products are popular in Japan and perhaps can be traced back to cultural issues of fear of cancer from radiation following Nagasaki/Hiroshima, said Edward Kohlberg, financial analyst in the life/health division of A.M. Best Co. Aflac is the biggest player in this space in Japan, whether foreign or domestic, he said.
When Aflac began operating in Japan in 1974, it says it was the first to sell cancer insurance. Aflac is strong in cancer insurance while MetLife Alico is stronger in hospital cash, Toppeta said.
When a policyholder becomes hospitalized, hospital cash provides them with money for each day they're in the hospital, for which the insured can use it for anything they want.
Alico is the largest acquisition in the company's history in terms of purchase price and geographic scope because it takes in more than XX countries, Toppeta said. The Japanese market through Alico accounts for almost half of MetLife's international business, Kohlberg said.
MetLife, already the largest life insurer in the United States and Mexico, became a leading competitor in Japan, Kohlberg added.
The insurer also gained four big distribution channels: career agents, independent agents, banks and direct-to-consumer, Toppeta said. This year, three of these channels will generate sales of about $XXX million each, he said.
In what he dubbed a "truly global" transaction, Alico provides MetLife with a much larger presence in Central and Eastern Europe. MetLife is now the No. X life insurer in Russia--a big growth market and one of the four so-called emerging nations called BRICs--and now has "a terrific presence" in the Middle East, he said.
Shortly before buying Alico, MetLife agreed to sell its interest in its Japanese joint venture, Mitsui Sumitomo MetLife Insurance Co. Ltd., to MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc., its joint venture partner, for $XXX million.
MetLife operated in Japan through the XX-XX joint venture, which focused on variable annuities, Toppeta said.
The insurer, however, didn't want two companies in Japan, so it sold back its interest to MS&AD when it bought Alico, he said.
MetLife picked up Alico's variable annuity business but these stock market-linked retirement savings and income products represent less than X% of MetLife Alico's total earnings in the Japanese market, Toppeta said.
While Aflac and MetLife Alico compete in the independent agent channel, Aflac's historical strength has been work site marketing as well as emerging as the No. X insurer in banks, Schwartz said.
MetLife Alico is particularly strong in the direct channel, Schwartz said.
Dai-ichi Life, which sells Aflac's cancer product, is the No. X seller of cancer insurance, he said.
* What Happened: MetLife Inc. acquired American International Group Inc.'s American Life Insurance Co. in 2010.
* The Significance: The move expands MetLife's international presence, especially in Japan.
* What It Means: The Japanese market through Alico accounts for almost half of MetLife's international business.
American Life Insurance Co.
A.M. Best Company # XXXXX
Distribution" Career agents, independent agents, banks, direct
A.M. Best Company # XXXXX
Distribution: Career agents, LTC specialists, independent agents, wirehouses,
For ratings and other financial strength information visit www.ambest.com.
Watch an interview with William Toppeta at www.bestreview.com/video. Digital readers: Hold cursor over icon for content.