INSURANCE INDUSTRY TRENDS: Largest auto insurers continue to grow

Preliminary data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners indicates the Top 10 auto insurers continued to gain market share as a group in 2011. But it also shows that property and casualty insurers had a loss ratio of 67.5 percent for the year, up significantly from 64.7 percent in 2010, 64.5 percent in 2009 and 63.7 percent in 2008.

The Top 10 insurers accounted for close to 70 percent of the market last year, compared to 68.1 percent in 2010 (and up from about 59 percent in 2000).

In terms of market share growth, GEICO (No. 3) was the big winner with just over 9 percent market share, up from 8.5 in 2010, continuing to fuel speculation that it could pass Allstate (at 10.3 percent last year) as early as 2013 to become the second-largest auto insurer. Progressive (No. 4) and USAA (No. 6) also gained one-fourth of a point of
market share last year.

Loss ratios varied widely among the insurers. State Farm, still the largest auto insurer, had the worst loss ratio (76 percent) among the Top 10 insurers, while No. 5 Liberty Mutual’s (60.1 percent) was the best. Progressive was one of the few companies to see its loss ratio improve (61.8 percent, compared to 62 percent in 2010).


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