Insurance industry is a major global financial industry in modern times and particularly in the developed economies like the United States which account for the bulk of global insurance.
In the US, insurance has been a flourishing financial sector and various types of insurance are available in all the US states. Insurance is a major aspect in any kind of enterprise in the world as there is always the risk of uncertain incedients that can cause loss to the individual and business units. There are various forms of insurance that are available in the US and to cater to the various forms of insurance needs, there are myriads of insurance companies in the US.
Today there are a large number of American life insurance companies conducting business on world wide scale. Some of the best US insurance companies have strengthened the insurance industry all around the world.
The idea of insurance has been in practice since ancient days in some form or the other. The first insurance company in the United States provided fire insurance and was formed in Charles Town (modern-day Charleston), South Carolina, in 1732. Benjamin Franklin had standardized the practice of insurance, particularly against fire in the form of perpetual insurance. He founded the Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire in 1752.
Commercial vehicles insurance is a kind of vehicle insurance which protects commercial vehicles (such as business-use vehicles, vans, trucks and non-owned and rented commercial vehicles) against any loss(es) incurred due to traffic accidents, theft, fire damage, and other factors. Commercial vehicle insurance, like personal auto/car/vehicle insurance or motorcycle/scooter insurance, is an important and distinct segment of auto insurance and there are a number of US commercial vehicle insurance companies, which offer varied and comprehensive insurance coverage policies.
List of Commercial vehicles insurance companies in USA:
- • The Hartford
- • AA Commercial Vehicle insurance
- • Eagle Star Commercial vehicle Insurance
- • Swinton Commercial Vehicle Insurance
- • Cornhill Direct Commercial Vehicle Insurance
- • Gladiator Commercial Vehicle Insurance
Disability Insurance is a form of human life/health insurance which covers those injuries and sickness which can lead somebody to disability and hinder him/her earning his/her livelihood. Disability insurance is designed to replace 45-60% of the insured’s gross income (on a tax-free basis) in case he/she is disabled. Total Permanent Disability (TPD), on the other hand, means that a person is unable to work in any suitable occupation because of sickness or injury. In the US there is a whole lot of disability insurance company with a wide range of plans and policies. There are main two types of disability insurance — Personal Disability Insurance and Business Disability Insurance. while the first takes care of guardians or individual against diability the second is for business owner who is unable to work.
List of Disability Insurance Companies in United States :
- • Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America
- • UnumProvident Corporation(UNM)
- • Guardian Disability Insurance
- • American Life, Health and Disability Insurance
- • Palmer insurance Agency
UnumProvident Corporation (UNM) located in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the US, is presently the largest disability insurance company in the world. It was formed when two competing insurance companies, Unum (of Portland, Maine) and Provident (of Chattanooga) were merged. For individuals, the company offers plans like Disability Income Protection Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance, and Life Insurance, while for employees, it offers plans like Disability Income Protection for groups with 2-99 members, Employee Benefit Plans, Absence Management Services for groups with 100-1999 members, and Disease Management, Employee Benefit Plans for groups with over 2000 members.
Health Insurance in modern times has evolved into an indispensable component of the insurance industry. More particularly in the developed nations, Health Insurance is the norm rather than an exception for average citizens. Health insurance can be provided by either public agencies or by private outfits, and in country like the United States, market-based health care systems rely primarily on private Health Insurance.
Prior to 1920, the state of medical technology was not very developed implying little hope for patients, and patients were mostly treated in their homes. It was seen that wages lost due to sickness were four times larger than the medical expenditures associated with treating the illness and hence people didn’t opt much for Health Insurance and rather preferred sickness insurance . The low demand for Health Insurance also discouraged the insurance companies to offer private health insurance policies, and moreover those companies were reluctant to engage in heath insurance business since it was vulnerable to fraud and manipulation. The low acceptability of health insurance also hindered the development of a mandatory and nationalized health insurance scheme in the US. The American commercial insurance firms offered burial insurance to pay funeral costs.
Increase in the Demand for Medical Care :
With the development of medical science and with that the rising medical cost, there occurred an increase in demand for medical care in the US. Gradually a new payment innovation developed at the end of the 1920s that had revolutionized the market for Health Insurance. The precursor to Blue Cross was founded in 1929 and the pre-paid hospital service plans grew over the course of the Great Depression. Later the Blue shield joined the fray with the Blue Cross making up the stage for a flourishing future of health insurance in the USA. The supply of Health Insurance increased once commercial insurance companies decided to enter the American market for health coverage. The American market for Health Insurance had grown from a total enrollment of 20,662,000 in 1940 to nearly 142,334,000 in 1950.
The Age of Health Insurance
By the 1960s, private health insurance system in the United States was well established. In 1958, nearly 75 percent of Americans had some form of private health insurance coverage. Around this time the move to establish a government-sponsored health insurance system was also strongly emphasized upon. The Medicare and Medicaid policies had come into effect. Nevertheless the health insurance market in the US, as mentioned earlier, is dominated by the private insurance companies and there are a large number of private health insurance companies in the US which cover all possible aspects of human illness and disability and offers all kinds of customer-friendly policies to choose from.
List of Health Insurance Companies in United States :
- • Aetna
- • American Medical Security Life Insurance
- • Assurant
- • Asuris Northwest Health
- • Blue Cross/Blue Shield
- • Anthem BlueCross BlueShield
- • The Regence Group
History Of Life Insurance in US
The earliest life insurance enterprises in the US can be traced back to the late 18th Century when the Presbyterian Synods in Philadelphia and New York set up the Corporation for Relief of Poor and Distressed Widows and Children of Presbyterian Ministers in 1759. From 1787-1837, 26 life insurance companies began functioning in the US though with little success. The earliest life insurance companies which tasted success were the Pennsylvania Company for Insurances on Lives and Granting Annuities (started in 1812), the Massachusetts Hospital Life Insurance Company (chartered in 1818), the Baltimore Life Insurance Company (chartered in 1830), and some others.
The business of life insurance in the US began to make a significant progress since the 1830s as the total money value of life insurance in force grew from about $600,000 in 1830 to almost $5 million in 1940. By 1945, the figure reached $14.5 million. The top three companies then were – the Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, the Mutual Benefit Life Insurance Company of New Jersey, and the Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company. The sudden success of life insurance in the US during the 1840s can be attributed to: changes in legislation affecting life insurance and a shift in the corporate structure of companies towards mutualization. Slowly, the life insurance companies began targeting women and children as the main beneficiaries of insurance.
International Expansion of US Life Insurance Companies :
The major US life insurance companies began expanding into the global market as early as 1860s and 1870s. The most rapid growth occurred between 1885-1905.
Multiplication in number of US Life Insurance Companies :
Following the Armstrong Committee’s investigation (in early 1905)on the nature of functioning of the US life insurance companies, the government gave a clean chit ensuring that life insurance is a safely-run business and consequently there was a surge in the industry with a number of new companies joining in the fray. Whereas only 106 companies existed in 1904, by 1914 the number was added to by another 288.
Group Life Insurance :
There was the evolution of the concept of group insurance. In 1911 the Equitable Life Assurance Society issued a policy covering 125 employees of the Pantasote Leather Company. By 1919, such companies issuing group insurance rose to 29.
War Risk Insurance :
The US government also issued insurance policies to all the US war personnel during World War I (1914-18) and also later during World War II (1939-45). This proved to be extremely popular. As was the case after the Civil War, life insurance sales rose dramatically after World War I, reaching at $117 billion of insurance in force in 1930.
After 1944, regulation of insurance companies became subject to Congress under the interstate commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. Until the 1950s, most US life insurance companies could provide only one type of insurance, but legislation was passed to undo that and allow fire and casualty companies to underwrite several classes of insurance. This had a thumping affect on the US life insurance industry as this led to expansion of many firms and mergers. Multiple-line life insurance companies now dominate the field in the US. In 1999, the US Congress nullified banking laws that had barred commercial banks to enter the insurance business, thus opening the floodgate for major banks to move into the insurance arena.
On the Flip Side :
However, in recent years insurance premiums have increased rapidly, leaving a large numbers of Americans uninsured. While many complain that the US citizens are paying for bad risks made by the life insurance companies, the companies pass the buck on law firms and their clients. Besides frequent catastrophic earthquakes, hurricanes, and wildfires since late 1980s have also ruined many insurance company’s reserves.
Nevertheless, whatever be the case, life insurance has become a very essential component for almost all individuals (more so the rich who have a lot to loose!) and in the US there are currently existing myriad of companies which are competing with each other to insure lives of Americans as well as those of foreign nationals.
List of Life Insurance Companies in United States:
• Allstate Insurance Company
• American International Group(AIG)
• American National Insurance Company
• Aon Corporation
• Banner Life
• Prudential Financial
• Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
• The Hartford
The modern auto industry has seen a boom in the two-wheeler industry (thanks to factors like increasing price of fuel and commendable mileage of two-wheelers). However, with the rate of manufacture and sale shooting up, the cases of two-wheeler theft and accidents have also been multiplying manifold. Hence therefore, similar to the four-wheelers, motorcycle insurance has also evolved as an important component of insurance industry in modern times. There are a large number of US motorcycle insurance companies offering various types of motorcycle (and other forms of two-wheeler like scooters and mopeds) insurance policy coverage including those covering the rider, covering a certain bike (not the rider), covering third party only, covering third party fire and theft insurance, and comprehensive insurance covering third party, fire and theft insurance apart from damage.
List Auto insurance Companies in USA :
• Electric Insurance Company
• The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
• American Family Insurance
• The Hartford
• Liberty Mutual
• Nationwide Insurance
• Response Insurance
• State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance
• The St. Paul Travelers Companies, Inc.
• Unitrin Direct Auto Insurance
• Metropolitan Life Insurance
• Esurance Farmers Insurance
Besides insurance for human beings (life insurance, health insurance, and others) or for properties (car insurance, home insurance, RV insurance, condo insurance), there are even companies which provide insurance for pet animals and birds. Pet Insurance is the insurance which pays the veterinary costs if one’s pet is ill, is injured owing to an accident, or in case it has expired, or is lost or stolen (all payment towards a claim have to be made by the pet owner). It, however, does not cover veterinary treatment like vaccination and neutering. Pet insurance is more a familiar scene in the developed countries.
List of Pet insurance Company in United States:
• Veterinary Pet Insurance
• Embrace Pet Insurance
• Pets Best Pet Insurance
• Pethealth Inc.
• Pet Assure
Just like life and health insurance are two important aspects of human insurance, property and casualty insuranceare also equally significant components of modern insurance industry. Property insurance protects against risks to property (such as fire, theft, weather damage, and others) and includes specialized forms of insurance such as fire insurance, flood insurance, home insurance, and others. Casualty insurance, on the other hand, is an umbrella insurance which covers various kinds of accidents that is not related to life, health, or property. Some of the common types of casualty insurance include business insurance, liability insurance, political risk insurance, fidelity and surety bonds, and others. Property and casualty insurance is more flourishing a business in industrially developed states and in the US such insurance companies are abundant.
List of Property / Casualty Insurance Company in United States:
• ACE USA
• Alfa Mutual Insurance
• Argonaut Group, Inc.
• American International Group
• BISYS Commercial Insurance Services, Inc.
• Chubb Group
• CNA Financial Corporation
• Fireman’s Fund Insurance
• Great American Insurance
• The Hartford
• Manulife Financial
• Markel Corporation
• Nationwide Insurance
• The St. Paul Travelers Companies, Inc.
• Sentry Insurance
• Wausau Insurance
• Zurich North America
Renters Insurance is a type of insurance which protects against risks/losses that could arise out of the rental of a home. However, such insurance covers losses to the insured’s property, and not to losses that occur as a result of owning a home. In the US there are myriad of insurance companies that offer such renter’s insurance.
List of Renter Insurance Company in US:
• Balboa Insurance
• State Farm Insurance
Last Updated on : 22th July 2013