Insurance helps us to do exactly what this quote suggests. We all face many kinds of risks: risk of meeting with an accident, falling sick, being a victim of a natural disaster or fire, and above all risk of life. All these risks not only come with pain and suffering but also hurt financially. Insurance is one way of being prepared for the worst; it offers the surety that the economic part of the pain will be taken care of. In this article, we take a look at some of the top insurance companies. There are many criteria on the basis of which such a list can be prepared: premium collections, market capitalization, revenue, profit, geographical area, assets and more. The following list focuses on a number of factors and the insurance companies on it are in no particular order.
Insurers are regulated by the states. Each state maintains an insurance department that monitors the financial health of insurers licensed to do business in that state.
One of the goals of regulation is to prevent insurer insolvencies. Nevertheless, insurance companies occasionally fail. Thus, before buying a policy insurance buyers need to do their own evaluation of an insurer’s financial strength.
Fortunately, assessing an insurer’s financial health does not require any number crunching on your part. Rating firms have done the work for you. These firms include A.M. Best, Standard and Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch. Each agency develops insurer ratings using different criteria. Consequently, an insurer may be rated highly by one agency but not so highly by another. For this reason it’s important to consider multiple ratings when evaluating an insurer.
Unless you are purchasing a policy from a non-admitted insurer, your insurer should be licensed in your state to issue the type of policy you are purchasing. In many states you can access insurer licensing information from the insurance department’s website.
An alternate source of this information is a website maintained by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
An insurer that offers several types of coverage may need a separate license for each. For instance, suppose that the Elite Insurance Company provides both life and homeowners insurance in state X.
Elite holds two licenses, one for life insurance and the other for property and casualty insurance. When an insurer has multiple licenses, each license may be held by a separate subsidiary company. For example, Elite’s life insurance license is held by the Elite Life Insurance Company. Elite’s property and casualty license is held by the Elite Property and Casualty Company.
Service refers to the speed, accuracy and courtesy an insurer displays when it responds to your requests. The following example demonstrates why service is important.
Suppose you have been hired by XYZ Inc. to do work on a project. Your contract requires you to insure XYZ Inc. as an additional insured under your general liability policy. XYZ won’t let you start work on the project until it has received a copy of the additional insured endorsement. You’ve requested the endorsement but your insurer doesn’t issue it until three months later. At that point you’ve already lost the job.
Some insurers provide better service than others. If you have enlisted an independent agent to obtain quotes on your behalf from several insurers, your agent should know which insurer provides the best service. You can also ask other business owners for recommendations.
Trade associations, professional organizations and business groups may also offer insurer recommendations.
As a policyholder, you expect your insurer to promptly pay any valid claim you file. Nevertheless, some insurers have a better reputation than others when it comes to handling claims. If an independent agent is obtaining quotes on your behalf, ask him or her about the insurers’ claim handling practices. You should also check your insurance department’s website for complaints and enforcement actions filed against the insurer. Many policyholder complaints and enforcement actions involve allegations of unfair claims practices.
The coverages you need depend on the type and size of the business you operate. Some insurers provide basic «vanilla» coverages that most businesses need like commercial auto and general liability insurance.
Other insurers offer coverages designed for certain types of businesses, such as restaurants or contractors. If your business is highly specialized you’ll need an insurer that understands your industry. For instance, if you company manufactures medical diagnostic products you’ll need an insurer that is knowledgeable in biotechnology.
The insurers represented by agents vary from one agency to another. If you aren’t happy with the selection of insurers from one agent, switch to another agency. Like insurers, some agents and brokers focus on certain industries or types of coverage. If you feel that your current agent doesn’t understand your business, look for an agent that specializes in your industry.
The cost of an insurance policy can vary widely from one insurer to another. There are a number of factors that affect the policy premium. These include the rates charged, the limits provided, the scope of coverage included, and discounts provided by the insurer. When assessing quotes be sure you are comparing «apples to apples.» Policy X may be significantly broader, and thus cost more, than Policy Y. However, if the extra coverage afforded by Policy X is not important to you, you may be better off buying the cheaper policy.
- AIA Australia Limited
- Allianz Australia Life Insurance Limited
- AMP Life Limited
- Challenger Life Company Limited
- ClearView Life Assurance Limited
- Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited (The)
- Combined Life Insurance Company of Australia Ltd
- General Reinsurance Life Australia Ltd
- Hallmark Life Insurance Company Ltd.
- Hannover Life Re of Australasia Ltd
- H C F Life Insurance Company Pty Limited
- Integrity Life Australia Limited
- Macquarie Life Limited
- MetLife Insurance Limited
- MLC Limited
- Munich Reinsurance Company of Australasia Limited
- OnePath Life Limited
- Pacific Life Re (Australia) Pty Limited
- QInsure Limited
- RGA Reinsurance Company of Australia Limited
- SCOR Global Life Australia Pty Limited
- St Andrew’s Life Insurance Pty Ltd
- St. George Life Limited
- Suncorp Life & Superannuation Limited
- Swiss Re Life & Health Australia Limited
- TAL Life Limited
- The National Mutual Life Association of Australasia Limited
- Westpac Life Insurance Services Limited
- Zurich Australia Limited
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) is responsible for administering a number of federal statutes, including the statute applicable to the regulation of federally incorporated insurance companies (the Insurance Companies Act (ICA)). As part of the regulatory process, OSFI assesses applications for incorporation and makes recommendations to the Minister of Finance (the Minister), the individual that has the ultimate responsibility for approving the incorporation of a federal regulated insurance company (FIC) under the ICA.
Please note that the May 2013 revisions to this Guide reflect OSFI’s expectations and practices as at December 31, 2012. As these expectations and practices continue to evolve, this Guide will be updated when and as needed.
This Guide sets out the various prudential, regulatory and legislative criteria and information requirements relative to applications for the incorporation of a FIC. One of the primary objectives of this Guide is to promote awareness and enhance the transparency of the assessment criteria and processes for the incorporation of a FIC.
Part I of this Guide identifies the information that applicants are generally expected to submit in support of an application to the Minister seeking the issuance of letters patent of incorporation (Letters Patent) establishing the FIC. Part II identifies the information that is generally expected in support of the subsequent application to the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (the Superintendent) for the making of an order to commence and carry on business (Order). Part III provides administrative guidance.
OSFI will generally evaluate a proposed incorporation against the criteria in this Guide; however, as the particular circumstances and facts of each application are different, this Guide should not be viewed as an exhaustive set of criteria and information requirements. OSFI officers from the Legislation and Approvals Division and Supervision Sector jointly review and assess each application for the incorporation of a FIC.
This Guide does not apply to:
- the establishment of a foreign insurance branch in Canada; or
- the incorporation of, or continuance as, an insurance holding company, mutual company or fraternal benefit society.
Applicants are encouraged to contact OSFI for further information regarding the establishment, incorporation or continuance of these entities.
Please note that this Guide relates solely to the ICA and does not address any provincial or territorial requirements, or Assuris or PACICC requirements, that may apply to a FIC’s insurance activities in Canada. Accordingly, OSFI recommends that:
- applicable provincial and territorial insurance statutes be reviewed, and the agencies that administer them be consulted, in connection with the business of a proposed FIC; and
- the applicable membership requirements of Assuris (the life insurance compensation fund), or the Property and Casualty Insurance Compensation Corporation, be reviewed, and that compensation fund officials be consulted accordingly.
Insurance companies are businesses, and very often people take for granted that insurance will always be there. Insurers deal in risks, and being able to assess a risk and avoid losses is part of how they survive as a business. Unfortunately, people have situations and circumstances that often fit outside the norm; insurance companies may find a situation too risky and decide to cancel your policy.
Can You Stop the Insurance Company From Cancelling You?
There’s nothing worse than experiencing the feeling and threat of being cancelled. It’s not only upsetting, but it can be embarrassing. Fortunately, there are some cases where an insurance company may start off intending to cancel you, but with some negotiation and explanation, you might be able to make them change their mind.
To figure out if you can get them to continue to insure you, let’s look at some of the reasons an insurance company might cancel you, and some suggestions on how to negotiate with the insurance company representative in each circumstance.
Life insurance companies are under pressure. Their traditional business model is stagnating. Since 2014, premiums for U.S. life insurers have fallen at an average annual rate of 4%, the industry’s return on equity has been flat, and persistently low interest rates continue to depress returns.
Insurers have been slow to adjust to these new realities. Despite their efforts to trim expenses, many are still suffering from bloated costs. Agent commissions and distribution costs, which account for about 60% of a typical insurer’s overall operating costs, have ratcheted up at an average rate of 5% since 2010. The productivity of agents, who handle more than 90% of all policy sales, has slumped.
Insurance companies can sell their products throughout the EU – either by establishing themselves in other countries or providing their services across borders directly or through intermediaries.
You can therefore shop around the European market for the best deals on insurance products (life insurance, household insurance, car insurance and so on).
This only concerns private insurance and occupational pension funds and not your social security and statutory pension rights relating to your work history.
When you buy from an insurer in another EU country, the authorities responsible for regulating insurance in that country and in your own country will share information on:
- the level of risk involved in the insurance you plan to buy
- the insurer’s solvency
- the types of risk for which the insurer is authorised in the country where it is based
Most insurance products are sold through insurance intermediaries (brokers, agents). They must provide you with certain essential information before any contract is signed, including:
- their links to the insurance companies
- whether they are acting as an agent or broker
They should also clearly state in writing:
- your insurance requests and needs
- the reasons for any advice they give you on the insurance product
On the basis of this information, you can decide whether the proposed insurance contract is the right choice for you.