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Japan Post Insurance and Axa SA Top A M Best Lists of Major Insurance Companies

Posted on Jan 06, 2011 by Sergio Ulloa ()

The Japan Post Insurance Company and AXA SA are identified as the world's leading insurers in the latest report issued by renowned credit rating agency A.M. Best. The Japanese and French insurers emerged as the biggest insurance companies in a list registering the top 25 worldwide insurers measured by asset values and net premiums written. The Tokyo-based Japan Post Insurance Company was reported holding assets totaling US$1.1 trillion in 2009, making it the largest insurer by asset value, although it was only ranked fourth in terms of net premiums written at US$81 billion. The French insurer AXA SA took top spot for net premiums written. The ranking by assets was dominated by life insurance companies, with non-life insurers dominating the net premium written table. The latest A.M. Best report is based on insurers' financial results for the year ending 2009, reflecting differences in each country's regulatory and reporting requirements. The rankings take into account currency values for consistency purposes. The total value of the 25 insurers ranked by assets amounted to US$25 trillion, while the value of the 25 insurers ranked by net premiums written totaled US$1.3 trillion at the end of 2009. The Japan Post Insurance Company is government-owned although its parent company - the Japan Post Holdings Company - was slated to be privatized, but proposals were subsequently scrapped when a new Japanese government - The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) - took office in August 2010. The company specializes in the provision of life insurance products and services sold through post offices and directory managed stores. Within the list of the 25 largest insurance companies there were 13 European-based insurers ranked by asset values, while North America and Asia were each represented by 6 insurers in this category. In terms of the specific countries in which these companies were based; Japan had 6, the United States 5, the UK 4 and France 3, with the residual 7 companies based in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and Canada. In the ranking of companies by net premiums written there were 9 European and 9 North American based insurers, with 7 Asian based insurers - including 5 in Japan - making up the 25 largest insurance companies globally. A.M Best recognized that rankings could have changed since 2009, with the subsequent completion of mergers and acquisitions between insurers and some restructuring of operations. Most notably, the positioning of AIG - ranked third by asset value with US$847.6 billion and sixth by written premiums totaling US$62.2 billion in 2009 - will change as it seeks to sell-off companies such as AIG Edision Life Insurance and AIG Star Life Insurance in Japan as well as Nan Shan in Taiwan as part of its divestment strategy - having already sold Alico to American insurance rival Metlife. While AXA is set to expand its global reach after bidding for AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Ltd in late 2010 to increase the French insurer's exposure in the region. The net premium written rankings includes China Life and the Life Insurance Corporation of China and India in the list representing two of the largest insurers from the two most populated countries in the world; both countries having fast growing economies. Asia, especially China and India, have emerged in recent years as significant growth markets for global insurers with home domiciles in Europe and North America. Insurers such as AXA, Aviva, Prudential, Aegon, Zurich, Allianz and Generali have all highlighted the Asian region for expansion of operations, particularly for life and health insurance products, often forming joint ventures with locally based insurers. In traditional, more established markets, insurers will be seeking to optimize opportunities for changes in the provision of healthcare services, particularly in the United Kingdom and the USA, and to redress shortfalls which have occurred in the pension industry. A.M Best: World's Largest Insurers Largest Insurers Ranked by Assets (2009) 1. Japan Post Insurance Co. Ltd. (Japan) 2. Axa S.A. (France) 3. American International Group Inc. (United States) 4. Allianz SE (Germany) 5. Assicurazioni Generali SpA (Italy) 6. Aviva plc (United Kingdom) 7. MetLife Inc. (United States) 8. Prudential Financial Inc. (United States) 9. Legal & General Group plc (United Kingdom) 10. Nippon Life Insurance Co. (Japan) 11. National Mut Ins Fed Agricultural Coop (Japan) 12. CNP Assurances (France) 13. Aegon NV (Netherlands) 14. Manulife Financial Corp. (Canada) 15. ING Groep NV (Netherlands) 16. Zurich Financial Services Ltd. (Switzerland) 17. Prudential plc (United Kingdom) 18. Munich Reinsurance Co. (Germany) 19. Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. (Japan) 20. Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. (United States) 21. Predica-Prevoyance Dialogue du Credit (France) 22. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (United States) 23. Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. (Japan) 24. Standard Life Plc (United Kingdom) 25. Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. (Japan) Largest Insurers Ranked by Net Written Premiums (2009) 1. Axa S.A. (France) 2. Assicurazioni Generali SpA (Italy) 3. Allianz SE (Germany) 4. Japan Post Insurance Co. Ltd. (Japan) 5. UnitedHealth Group (United States) 6. American International Group Inc. (United States) 7. National Mutual Insurance Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives (Japan) 8. Munich Reinsurance Co. (Germany) 9. WellPoint Inc. (United States) 10. State Farm Group (United States) 11. Nippon Life Insurance Co. (Japan) 12. Aviva plc (United Kingdom) 13. Zurich Financial Services Ltd. (Switzerland) 14. Kaiser Foundation Group of Health Plans (United States) 15. CNP Assurances (France) 16. China Life Insurance (Group) Co. (China) 17. ING Groep NV (Netherlands) 18. Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. (Japan) 19. Prudential plc (United Kingdom) 20. Life Insurance Corporation of India (India) 21. Aetna Inc. (United States) 22. Humana Inc. (United States) 23. Tokio Marine Holdings Inc. (Japan) 24. Allstate Corp. (United States) 25. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (United States) Insurance Companies Mentioned Japan Post Insurance Japan Post InsuranceJapan Post Insurance Co., Ltd was founded in 2006 and is based in Tokyo. Japan Post Insurance is a subsidiary of Japan Post Holdings Co., Ltd and provides life insurance product and services. AXA AXA life insurance and healthAXA Group is a worldwide leader in Financial Services. Headquartered in Paris, the AXA Group companies are engaged in life insurance, health insurance and asset management services among others. AXA's operations are diverse geographically, with major operations in Europe, North America and the Asia/Pacific area. AIG aigThe American International Group is a leading international insurance organization with operations in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions globally. Prudential Prudential plc LogoPrudential has been in the insurance and financial services business since 1848. Today they operate throughout the UK, US and Asia offering international health insurance and retirement planning services, supported by 27,000 employees worldwide. Zurich Zurich Financial Services GroupHeadquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, Zurich Financial Services Group is an insurance-based financial services provider with a network of subsidiaries andoffices in North America and Europe and also in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and other markets. Zurich is one of the world's largest insurance groups, and one of the few to operate on a truly global basis. With 60,000 employees serving customers in more than 170 countries, our business is concentrated in three business segments: General Insurance, Global Life, and Farmers. Aviva Aviva InsuranceEurope's fourth largest insurance company, with more than 300 years of experience in the global insurance industry, Aviva is committed to the safety and satisfaction of its customers. They sell a broad range of insurance products including motor and property insurance, protection and health insurance, business insurance, life insurance and pensions. Assicurazioni Generali SpA Generali LogoThe Generali Group is one of the most significant participants in the global insurance and financial products market. The Group is a leader in Italy and Assicurazioni Generali, founded in 1831 in Trieste, is the Group's Parent and principal operating Company. Generali is one of the leading global players in the assistance sector thanks to the Europ Assistance Group, active in more than 200 countries with services in the motor, travel, healthcare, home and family sectors. In recent years, the Group has made a significant return to 14 central-eastern European markets and has set up offices in the principal markets of the Far East, including China and India. AEGON AegonAEGON is present in more than 20 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia, employing 28,000 people and serving more than 40 million customers. AEGON's ambition is to be a global leader in helping its customers secure their financial futures and, in doing so, to grow its businesses profitably and sustainably. AEGON products include life, pensions, life reinsurance, individual savings & retirement products MetLife Metlife InsurancePossessing over 140 years of insurance expertise, MetLife aims to be an innovator in the field of international Life insurance. Globally, MetLife is able to offer its clients accident and health insurance, life insurance, disability income protection, and retirement and savings products.
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