Top 10 Largest Private Passenger Auto Insurance Writers

The insurance industry employs more than 411,000 agents and countless other employees in operations and administration. With the top five companies producing more than $217 billion in annual revenue, it’s easy to see how vital this sector is to the economy, not to mention client peace of mind.

The auto industry specifically stands out since auto insurance is a requirement if you plan on operating a motor vehicle. In 2012 alone, there were close to $121.6 billion in direct premiums written by just the top 10 companies, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Here’s how they stacked up.

10. American Family Mutual

American Family Mutual has been in business for more than 80 years. The company wrote around $3.3 billion in direct premiums for the year 2012, a 1.9 percent market share.

9. Travelers Companies, Inc.

Slightly outpacing the team at American Family Mutual, Travelers authored $3.393 billion in direct premiums, which was also enough to claim a 1.9 percent piece of the pie (albeit a bigger 1.9 percent than its No. 10 counterpart).

8. Nationwide Mutual Group

There was quite a gap between the first two companies and Nationwide. The “on your side” company wrote $7.136 billion in direct premiums for 2012 and claimed a 4.1 percent market share. Overall revenue for 2012 (across all products) was $22.65 billion.

7. Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual turned out an impressive $8.263 billion in premiums for 2012, taking a 4.7 share on overall revenues of $34.671 billion. The company posted $365 million in profits and ranked as the No. 84 Fortune 500 company for the year. (It has since inched up to No. 81 on the 2013 list.)

6. USAA Insurance Group

USAA Insurance Group managed to eke out a lead on Liberty Mutual, writing $8.447 billion in direct premiums while claiming 4.8 percent of the market. With overall revenues at around $20 billion, USAA’s auto products are a more significant part of their business model than any of the above companies.

5. Farmers Insurance Group

Farmers Insurance Group is the first on our list to break the $10 billion threshold for direct premiums, writing a total of $10.279 billion, thus acquiring a 5.9 percent of the market. In 2012, that amounted to about one-sixth of the company’s overall revenue ($64.305 billion).

4. Progressive

Progressive surged ahead of the pack in 2012 with $14.438 billion in direct premiums for the year. This brought the company 8.3 percent market share on revenue of around $15.5 billion.

3. Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.

With billionaire investor Warren Buffett behind it and ownership of GEICO (the fastest growing insurance company in America), you might have expected a stronger showing from Berkshire Hathaway than No. 3, but believe us, the company isn’t hurting. In 2012, it authored $16.748 billion in direct premiums, earning a 9.6 percent market share.

2. Allstate Corp.

One of only two companies to claim 10 percent market share, Allstate Corp. wrote close to $17.5 billion in direct premiums during 2012. That number is more than half of the revenue the company earned for the year ($32.654 billion).

1. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance

Not only did State Farm take the top spot for 2012, it wasn’t even close. The company wrote more than $32.1 billion in direct premiums and claimed 18.4 percent of the market. Overall revenues were $64.305 billion, enough to also claim the No. 43 slot as a Fortune 500 company.

What factors influence your decisions when choosing an insurance provider? What do you think makes these companies the superpowers of their industry?

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Farmers - The Hartford - State Farm - Kemper Direct - Nationwide - Allstate - New York Life